PRESIDENT JOHN HUSTON ONEEY
01*! THE COLLEGE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
LAYING OF THE CORNER STONE OF
THE NEW COLLEGE BUILDINGS
SEPTEMBER ? 9
NINETEEN REEEEEE AND THREE
7i^ y4i. Cit^. CM±tf- •
JOHN HUSTON FINLEY, LL. D.,
AS PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE OF THE
CITY OF NEW YORK
AT CARNEGIE HALL
AND THE LAYING OF THE CORNER STONE OF
THE NEW COLLEGE BUILDINGS
NINETEEN HUNDRED AND THREE
DEC 16 1942
EDWARD LAUTERBACH, Chairman
FREDERICK P. BELLAMY JOSEPH F. MULQUEEN
JAMES BYRNE CHARLES PUTZEL, Sec'y
JAMES W. HYDE HENRY A. ROGERS
THEODORE F. MILLER EDWARD M. SHEPARD
HENRY W. TAFT
COMMITTEE OF ARRANGEMENTS
CHARLES PUTZEL, Chairman
EDWARD LAUTERBACH^ HENRY W. TAFT
JAMES BYRNE THEODORE F. MILLER
JOHN HUSTON FINLEY, LL D.
SEPTEMBER 29, 1903
THE OLD COLLEGE
The following Marshals had charge of the reception of
guests at Carnegie Hall and at the Laying of the Corner-Stone
on the College grounds.
Marshal- in- Chief
Charles E. Ly decker, '71
Chief Faculty Marshal
William Stratford, Ph.D., '65
Charles A. Doremus, A.M., Lewis F. Mott, Ph.D., '83
M.D., Ph.D., '70 William G. McGuckin, '69
Ivan Sickels, M.S., M.D., John R. Sim, '68
Ph.D., '74 Stephen P. Duggan, Ph.D.
Charles A. Downer, Ph.D ,'86 Frederick G. Reynolds, Sc.M
Carleton L. Brownson, Ph.D. Paul L. Saurel, Sc.D.
Samuel Hanaway Walter E. Clark, Ph.D.
Edward G. Spaulding, Ph.D. A. I. Dupont Coleman
John J. McNulty, Ph.D., '81 Arthur Bruckner, M.E.
Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
Chief Alumni Marshal
Lewis Sayre Burchard, '77
Alex. P. Ketchum, A.M., '58
Horace E. Dresser, A.M., '59
Ephraim A. Jacob, '64
Charles A. Flammer, 64
M. H. Cardozo, '64
John M. Knox, '68
George B. Fowler, M.D., '69
Frank Keck, '72
Henry N. Tifft, '73
J. Sherman Battell, 73
Edward M. Colie, '73
Ferdinand Shack, '74
W. J. Underwood, Jr., '74
Henry H. Man, '74
Wilbur Larremore, '75
Vernon M. Davis, A.M., '76
William H. Kenyon, A.M., '76
Julius M. Mayer, '84
Charles Murray, '84
J. Van Vechten Olcott
Chief Student Marshal
John M . Battell
Ben Hur Lease
Harry P. Mela
Edward C. Brenner
Arthur B. Baum
John G. Dyer
Samuel H. Geist
John C. Green
Harry C. Halstead
William I. Heller
Franz G. Lachmund
William Fendrich, Jr.
Edward B. Levy
Jacob A. Segal
Leo G. Steiner
Samuel A. Shear
Abraham M. Tobias
Julius L. Wolff
John V. Walsh
William J. Walker
THE OLD CHAPEL
Order of Procession g
Order of Procession
The procession was formed by the Marshal-in-Chief,
Charles E . Lydecker and his assistants in the various assem-
bly rooms at 10.20 a. m.
The several divisions of the procession were constituted as
Members of the Senior Class
Alumni representatives an
Thomas J. Grout, '53
Giles M. Gray, '53
Rev. Joseph Anderson, '54
Everett P. Wheeler, '56
Cleveland Abbe, '5 7
Theodore A. Blake, '58
Henry Edwin Tremain, '60
J. Seaver Page, '62
W. H. J. Sieberg, '65
Richard R. Bowker, '68
G. Holmes Crawford, '68
Louis P. Gratacap, '69
Robert Abbe, '70
J. Hampden Dougherty, '71
Julius J . Frank, '7 1
E. E. Olcott, '73
Samuel Lachman, '74
Isaac Fromme, '74
Richard L. Sweezy, '74
Rev. Richard P. Williams, '74.
Nelson S. Spencer, '75
Hanford Crawford, '75
Rev. Charles K. Clearwater, '76
J. Alexander Stitt, '78
Joseph H . Wade, J S^
d other guests not specified
E. C. Burlingame,
A. Augustus Healy,
Joseph Howard, Jr.,
Pres't New York Press Club.
Charles R. Lamb,
Municipal Art Society.
John A. McCall,
Pres. N. Y. Life Ins. Co.
S. S. McClure.
Alrick H. Man, '78
Member Board of Education.
Henry Rutgers Marshall,
Rev. Henry Mottet, '69,
Pres. N. Y. Historical Society.
Walter H. Page,
A. Phimister Proctor,
Editor Staats Zeitung.
Rev. Samuel Schulman, '85
Dr. Albert Shaw.
John DeWitt Warner,
President, Art Commission.
Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
Guests : The Clergy, Officers of the United States, Officers of
the United States Army and Navy, Officers of the State
of New York and the City of Nezv York
R. Ross Appleton,
Frank L. Babbott,
Vice-Pres. Board of Education.
Edgar C. Bancroft,
President Union League Club,
Otto C. Bannard,
Ex-Trustee of the C. C. N . Y.
Theodore M. Banta,
Civil Service Commissioner,
N. Y. C.
U. S. Minister to Argentine.
Rev. Maitland V. Bartlett,
Princeton, N. J.
Henry J. Bischoff,
Justice, Supreme Court.
Rev. Dr . CyrusTownsendBrady,
John T. Buchanan,
Principal, DeWitt Clinton High
Rev. E. C. Burleigh- Hart.
Charles C. Burlingham,
Ex-Trustee of the C. C. N. Y.
ames C. Byrnes,
Examiner, Board of Education.
Major John J. Byrne,
"A. D. C." Governor's Staff.
Jacob A. Cantor,
President of Bor. of Manhattan.
Col. John Schuyler Crosby,
Ex-Trustee of C. C. N. Y.
Supervisor of Music, Public
Rev. A. P. Doyle,
St. Paul's R. C. Church.
John F. Dryden.
U . S. Senator, New Jersey.
James H. Eckles.
James M. Edsall,
District Sup't, Board of Educa-
Andrew W. Edson,
Associate City Sup't, Board of
Matthew J . Elgas,
District Sup't, Board of Educa-
Nathaniel A. Elsberg,
Senator, Fifth District.
John E. Eustis,
Commissioner of Parks, The
Justice Supreme Court.
Thomas W. Fitzgerald,
Justice, Court of Special
Commissioner of Charities.
Charles V. Fornes,
President, Board of Aldermen.
Leonard A. Giegerich,
Justice, Supreme Court.
Rev. C. L. Goodell,
Methodist Episcopal Church,
Edward J. Goodwin,
Principal Morris High School .
Member Board of Education.
Walter P. Gunnison,
Principal, Erasmus Hall High
Dr. Alexander Had den
Louis F. Haffen,
President Borough of the Bronx.
Thomas L. Hamilton,
County Clerk, N. Y. County.
Order of Procession
Francis Burton Harrison,
Theodore F. Hascall,
Justice, City Court,
Commissioner of Docks.
Brig.-Gen. Nelson H. Henry,
Walter L. Hervey,
Examiner, Board of Education.
Rev. Newell Dwight Hillis,
Congregational Church, Brook'n.
Hon. William H. Hunt,
Governor of Porto Rico.
Rt.Rev. Mgr. J. Lavelle,V.G.,
Rector of St. Patrick's R. C.
Ernest J. Lederle,
President Health Department.
District Sup't, Board of Educa-
Rev. Robert S. Mac Arthur,
Calvary Baptist Church.
Rev. Wallace MacMullen,
Methodist Episcopal Church.
John H. McCarthy,
Justice, City Court.
Ex. Trustee of C.C.N. Y.
Rev. N. N. McKinnon,
St . Ignatius Loyola R . C . Church
Martin P. McMahon,
Justice General Sessions,
Ex-Trustee of C . C . N . Y.
Jacob W. Mack,
Member Board of Education.
Ex-Trustee, C. C. N. Y.
Clarence E. Meleney,
Associate City Sup't Board of
Herman A. Metz,
Rev. Francis J. Clay Moran,
Second Vice-President People's
Ex. Trustee C.C.N.Y.
Joseph E. Newburger,
Justice, General Sessions.
Thomas S. O'Brien,
Associate City Sup't Board of
Nathaniel A. Prentiss,
Ex-Trustee of C . C . N . Y.
Ex-Trustee of C . C . N . Y.
George L. Rives,
De Witt J . Seligman,
Ex-Trustee of C.C.N.Y.
Edgar D. Shimer,
District Superintendent Board of
Rev. Joseph Silverman,
F. De Hass Simonson,
Arthur S. Somers,
Morris E. Sterne,
Seth T. Stewart,
District Sup't, Board of Educa-
Edward J. H, Tamsen,
Wm. T. Vlymen,
Principal Eastern District High
James L. Wells,
President Department of Taxes
John G. Wight,
Principal Wadleigh High School.
William R. Wilcox,
Park Commissioner, Manhattan.
Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D*
Members of the Corps of instruction of the College of the City
of New York and all visiting Professors and Officers of
Colleges and Universities.
Walter Bryan, A.M.,M.D.,
Ernest M. Perrin
Henry S. Carr, A.M.,
Joseph Allen, A.M.,
Henry G. Kost,
Robert F. Smith,
Gabriel Engelsmann, Ph.D.,
Gaston A. Laffargue,
Moses S. Levussove,
Ludwig H. Friedburg, Ph.D.,
Livingston R. Schuyler, A.M.,
Harry C. Krowl, Ph.D.,
Francis B. Sumner, Ph.D.,
J. Howard Van Amringe,
Professor Edwin R. A. Selig-
Professor William H. Carpenter,
Professor M. Allen Starr,
Professor James McK. Cattell,
Professor H. Fairfield Osborn,
Charles F. Home, M.S.,
Holland Thompson, A.M.,
Donald G. Whiteside, A.M.,
Alfred D. Compton, A.M.,
Felix Weill, B. es L., B. es Sc,
Victor E. Francois, A.M.,
Emory B. Lease, Ph.D.,
Frederick M. Pedersen, M.S.,
Edwin S. Brickner, A.M.,
Carl W. Kinkeldey, A.M.,
Livingston B. Morse,
Allan P. Ball, A.M.,
James H. De Groodt,
Robert H. Hatch,
Ventura Fuentes, M.D.,
Professor Edwin Delavan Perry
Professor Brander Matthews,
Professor Franklin H.Giddings,
Professor John Bates Clark,
Professor Calvin Thomas,
Professor F. M. McMurray,
Dr. James H. Canfield, Libra-
Representatives of Princeton University.
Rev. J. Addison Henry, Trus- Hon. Henry W. Greene, Trus-
Hon. M. Taylor Pyne, Trustee, Charles W. McAlpin, Secretary
Rev. D. R. Frazer, Trustee, of the University,
Order of Procession
Professor Henry Clay Cameron,
Professor H. B. Cornwall,
Professor George Macloskie,
Professor Charles McMillan,
Professor C. G. Rockwood, Jr. ,
Professor S. R. Winans,
Professor William Libbey,
Professor Frederick N. Willson,
Professor Paul Van Dyke,
Professor H. B. Fine,
Professor John Howell West-
Professor Ernest C. Richardson,
Professor J. Mark Baldwin,
Professor H. D. Thompson,
Professor Geo. McLean Harper,
Professor Win thropM. Daniels,
Professor John Grier Hibben,
Professor E. Odell Lovett,
Professor Walter M. Rankin,
Professor W. P. Armstrong,
Professor Howard C. Warren,
V. Lansing Collins, A. M.,
Professor Alexander H. Phillips,
Professor James Preston Hos-
Professor Jesse Benedict Carter,
Professor Stockton Axson,
Professor Robert McNutt Mc-
Professor Howard McClenahan.
Professor Albert S. Bickmore, American Museum of Natural
John Bigelow, President New York Public Library.
Dr. William H. Maxwell, City Superintendent of Public
Charles R. Skinner, State Superintendent of Public Instruc-
Professor H. A. Garfield.
Professor E. W. Scripture, '84.
Members of the Faculty and Emeritus Officers of The College
of the City of New York, and Presidents of
Universities and Colleges
Professor Adolph Werner, Ph.D.
Professor Alfred G. Compton, A.M.
Professor Chas. G. Hebermann, Ph.D., LL.D.
Professor Fitz Gerald Tisdall, Ph.D.
Professor Henry P. Johnston, A.M.
Professor Casimir Fabregou, A.M.
Professor Frederick Dielman, A.M.
Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
Assistant Professor Leigh H. Hunt, M.S., M.D.
Assistant Professor Calvin Rae Smith.
Assistant Professor Gustave Legras, M.S.
Assistant Professor Rivpp.
Assistant Professor William Fox, B.S., M.E.
Assistant Professor Ernest Ilgen, A.M.
Assistant Professor C. Howard Parmly, M.S., E. E.
Assistant Professor Erastus Palmer.
Professor Emeritus Robert Ogden Doremus, M.D., LL.D.
Professor Emeritus Solomon Woolf, A.M.
Professor James Weir Mason, A.M.
Assistant Professor Stanislas C. Constant.
Charles Bulkley Hubbell,
Ex-Chairman Board of Trustees.
Charles H. Knox,
Ex-Chairman Board of Trustees.
Miles M. O'Brien,
Ex-Chairman Board of Trustees.
John B. Pine,
Clerk Board of Trustees, Colum-
J. Edward Simmons,
Ex-Chairman Board of Trustees.
I si dor Straus,
President Educational Alliance.
William H. Watson,
Regent, New York State.
Newton C. Dougherty,
Sup't of Schools, Peoria, 111.
Daniel C. Gilman, LL.D.
President Carnegie Institute.
Charles H. Levermore, Ph.D.,
President Adelphi College.
A. W. Harris,
Director Jacob Tome Institute.
Rev. F. W. Gunsaulus,
President Armour Institute of
Laura Drake Gill,
Dean Barnard College.
Frederick B. Pratt,
President Pratt Institute.
Rev. S. B. McCormick, LL.D.,
President Coe College.
Ira Remsen, LL.D.,
President Johns Hopkins Univer-
L. Clarke Seelye, LL.D.,
President Smith College.
N. Lansing Zabriskie,
Trustee Wells College.
J. G. Schurman, LL.D.,
President Cornell University.
University of the South,
D. B. Purinton, Ph.D.,
President West Virginia Univer-
S. M. Drown, LL.D.,
President Lehigh University.
George E. Fellows, LL.D.,
President University of Maine.
Order of Procession
Joseph Swain, LL.D.,
President Swarthmore College.
James M. Taylor, LL . D.,
President Vassar College.
Rev. Brother Jerome,
President Manhattan College.
Rev. Dr. Francis L. Patton.
President Princeton Theological
Tremain J . Backus,
President Packer Institute.
Elmer H. Capen, D.D.,
President Tufts 1 College.
Rev. Rush Rees, LL.D. ,
President University of Roches-
Robert B. Fulton, LL.D., "
Chancellor University of Missis-
Dr. Richard T. Ely,
University of Wisconsin.
Rev. David W. Hearn, S.J.,
President College of St. Francis
Rev. L.J. Evers,
University of Notre Dame.
Dr. C. J. Keyser,
University of Missouri.
Thos. McClelland, D.D.,
President Knox College.
Professor Knox College.
Rev. M. Jacobus,
President Hartford Theological
Mary E . Wooley, M . A . ,
President Mount Holyoke Col-
Isaac Sharpless, LL.D.,
President Haverford College.
Dr . Lucien C . Warner,
Representative Trustee Oberlin
Chancellor MacCracken, LL.D.,
and Fellows and Trustees New
Charles F. Thwing, D.D.,
President Western Reserve Uni-
Representative of University
Charles W. Needham. LL.D.
President The Columbian Uni-
D. Willis James,
Trustee Amherst College.
Howard Ayres, LL.D.,
President University of Cincin-
Colonel Albert L . Mills,
Superintendent West Point Mili-
Andrew V. V. Raymond,
President, Union College.
Hon. S. B. Brownell,
Chairman Board of Trustees, of
F. P. Venable, Ph.D.,
President University of North
Thomas Fell, LL.D.,
President St. John's College.
President Brown University.
Nicholas Murray Butler, LL.D..
President Columbia University.
Woodrow Wilson, LL . D . ,
President Princeton University.
George H. Denny, Ph.D.,
President Washington and Lee
Arthur Twining Hadley, LL.D.
President Yale University.
16 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
The Trustees of the College
Edward Lauterbach, Chairman.
Charles Putzel, Secretary.
Edward M. Shepard, Henry W. Taft,
Theodore F. Miller, James Byrne,
Frederick P. Bellamy, Joseph F. Mulqueen,
James W. Hyde, Henry A. Rogers.
Rev. Dr. Henry Van Dyke, Professor Princeton University.
Hon. Benjamin B. Odell, Jr., LL.D., Governor of the State of
Hon. Seth Low, LL.D., Mayor of the City of New York.
Major General Adna R. Chaffee.
Lieut. Gen'l. S. B. M. Young, President of War College.
Hon. Charles S. Fairchild, Ex- Secretary of the Treasury.
Hon. John G. Carlisle, Ex- Secretary of the Treasury.
Hon. Daniel S. Lamont, Ex- Secretary of War.
Hon. Grover Cleveland, LL.D., Ex-President of the United States.
Prayer by the Rev. Henry Van Dyke, D.D., Professor
Address on behalf of the Trustees, by Edward Lauterbach,
A.M. , Chairman of the Board.
Presentation of the Seal of the College, and
Installation of the President.
Address on behalf of the Faculty by Adolph Werner, Ph.D.
Address on behalf of the Alumni by J. Hampden Dougherty.
Address on behalf of the Students by Kenneth Groesbeck.
Address by Chauncey M. Depew, LL.D., Regent of The
University of the State of New York.
Address by Arthur Twining Hadley, LL.D., President
of Yale University .
1 8 . Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D .
Address by Nicholas Murray Butler, LL.D., President
of Columbia University.
Address by Jacob G. Schurman, LL.D., President of Cornell
Address by Ira Remsen, LL.D., President of Johns Hopkins
Address by Grover Cleveland, LL.D., Ex-President of the
Inaugural Address by the President .
Benediction by Rev. Alexander P. Doyle, C.S.P.
Music by the Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera House,
Mr. Nahan Franko, Director.
President 1849 to 1869
Prayer by Rev . Henry Van Dyke, D.D. ig
PRAYER BY THE REV. HENRY VAN DYKE, D.D.
Of Princeton University
Let us invoke the blessing of Almighty God:
Almighty God, who hast given unto our eyes
the light of another day wherein to serve Thee and our
fellowmen, give unto our hearts, we beseech Thee, the
light of heavenly truth, that all our thoughts, desires and
purposes may be guided by Thee in wisdom and in virtue,
for Thy glory and the good and blessing of the world.
Eternal and sovereign Lord, Thou great Jehovah, who
art from everlasting to everlasting and beside whom there
is no other God, from Thee cometh all power and author-
ity, in Thee dwelleth all judgment and strength. By Thee
alone the good devices of men are established and con-
firmed, and without Thy benediction no human work can
prosper. Thou art the Master of all good workmen, the
Lord of all just rulers, the Instructor of all wise teachers,
the Friend and Father of all true men. Grant, therefore,
unto us, Thy servants of every church and name and race,
Thy Divine blessing in the special work of this day and
hour. We implore Thy favor and Thy guidance for The
College of the City of New York. As Thou hast raised up
good men and true to serve it in the past, so do Thou con-
tinue forth Thy mercy and Thy graces toward it in the
years to come. May its counsellors be prudent, faithful
and generous, its teachers earnest, skillful and full of
power, its students diligent, loyal, clear-minded and clean-
hearted. Send Thy rich blessing upon Thy servant who is
to be put this day at the head of the college. Endow him
with all the discretion and the courage, all the strength
of body and of mind, all the gentleness of heart and firm-
ness of will, all the clearness of understanding and the
purity of spirit, which shall fit him for his high task.
20 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D. *
Prosper him in all that he undertakes, according to Thy
will. Give him the friendship and fellowship of all who
work with him. Grant him a long and blessed life in the
joy of usefulness, and so lead him in all his ways that he
may lead this college into the largest and most glorious
service to our city and our country and the world, making
it a fountain of sound learning and discipline, and an
abundant source of inspiration for noble manhood through
all the years to come.
Most merciful and gracious God, who through Thy
servant Jonah, and through Thy Son Jesus Christ, hast
revealed Thy heart of kindness for all the multitudes who
dwell in great cities, most heartily do we pray Thee for
this mighty city, whose welfare and peace our hearts de-
sire. Defend her from all her foes and deliver her from
all her perils. Cast down all who seek to injure her and
raise up all who seek her good. Purify her highways and
her byways. Clean away all those confusions and errors
which blind us to her true interests. Make the duties of
citizenship plain before us. O, God! grant that the mil-
lions of men and women and little children who dwell here
may be safely protected, righteously governed, wisely
instructed, fairly dealt with, and kept in peace and happi-
ness and true human brotherhood, according to the pre-
cepts of Him who taught us that whatever we would that
men should do unto us, even so should we do unto them,
and in whose name we pray :
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy
name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as
it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And
forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass
against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver
us from evil: for Thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Address by Hon. Edward Lauter bach 21
ADDRESS BY THE HON. EDWARD LAUTERBACH,
On Behalf of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees of the College of the City of New
York, on behalf of the Faculty of the College and for itself,
bids welcome to the ex-President of the United States, offi-
cers of the Army and Navy and others, who have occupied Fed-
eral office, to the Governor and other representatives of the State
of New York, the Regents of the University, the Mayor and offi-
cials of the City of New York, to those representing sister col-
leges and institutions of learning, to all those present at this,
the installation of its third President, and those who will to-day
gather to witness the laying of the corner stone of the new col-
The retirement, after an honorable service of thirty-three
years, of President Webb, imposed upon the Board of Trustees
the task of selecting a successor, one qualified in their opinion
properly to conduct the affairs of the college, which, under his
administration and during the long incumbency of his predeces-
sor, Dr. Horace Webster, had so fully accomplished the work
which it was organized to perform.
After an able ad-interim incumbency of the Presidency by
Professor Compton, a member of the first graduating class, it
was to you, Doctor Finley, not of its Alumni, but exceptionally
qualified, in our judgment, to assume the responsible trust, that
the presidential chair was unanimously tendered.
To our gratification, a sentiment shared by the Faculty, the
Alumni, the Undergraduates and the friends of the Institution,
you have accepted the appointment. To formally install you in
that high office is the occasion of this assemblage.
Despite your acknowledged equipment for the place, by rea-
son of your experience as President of Knox College, your occu-
pancy of the Chair of Politics at Princeton, and your well-earned
reputation for devotion to your profession, we were not surprised
22 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
that anxious reflection preceded your acceptance of our invita-
The abandonment of your congenial post, to be followed at
our instance by the adoption of other duties kindred in character,
but infinitely more difficult, arduous and responsible, was not
expected to be brought about — except as the result of your most
While we unreservedly congratulate ourselves, the institution
we represent, and the City of New York, of which it is the ward,
we moderate our congratulations to you by frank acknowledg-
ment of the onerous nature of the important work you are about
In 1847, moved by the impulse for greater freedom of thought
and action that at about that time seemed to actuate the whole
civilized world in an exceptional degree, Townsend Harris, Jos-
eph S. Bosworth, Robert Kelly, and their associates, members
of the Board of Education, recognizing the necessity of higher
education than that afforded by the grammar school, for those to
whom by reason of superior ability and industry its advantages
might fairly be accorded, caused to be submitted to the vote of
the people the question whether a college should be founded,
attendance at which should be absolutely free, and the training
in which should be entirely secular and non-sectarian.
The judgment of the people was almost unanimously rendered
in favor of its creation.
Immediately following this popular decree, the Free Academy
was constructed to accommodate comfortably less than four hun-
dred students, a number which it was believed would at all times
exceed the demand for matriculation.
Recognizing that its pupils could not, in most instances, secure
the benefit of a completed course, the curriculum, while severe
in its exactions, was so arranged as to make the work of each
year at least approximately complete, so that, while its alumni
number only about two thousand, its actual beneficiaries exceed
twenty-five thousand in number.
Address by Hon. Edward Lauterbach 23
The high rank, especially in mathematics and in the classics,
which the institution obtained, caused its misnomer as an Acad-
emy to be rectified by its designation as a college.
Limiting itself to the collegiate function of imparting instruc-
tion in "something of everything," instead of trenching upon the
field of technical and special education, the legitimate province
of the University, which calls for knowledge of "everything
concerning something," the vital necessity for the existence of
this people's college, while questioned in its earlier history, is
now universally acknowledged, and its powers and attributes
have been increased by the Legislature, by the Regents of the Uni-
versity, and by the consistent and steady encouragement of the
Municipality, the latter at no time in more marked and liberal
degree than by the present administration.
Under the leadership of its head, whose experience as the
executive of a great University, qualified him to judge of the
necessities of the College, its demands for an increased scope of
usefulness, for liberal grants for building purposes, for the crea-
tion of an equitable pension fund, have been most generously
met, and such measures have been adopted as will secure ade-
quate accommodation, not only for its present two thousand un-
dergraduates, mainly of the Borough of Manhattan, but such
as will serve to bring from all the boroughs graduates of the
common schools in numbers corresponding to the increased mil-
lions of our citizenship.
To this administration, emulating the example of its predeces-
sors, and following the principles which have always maintained
in controlling the attitude of the City toward the College, it will
be due in great measure, Dr. Finley, that your lofty calling and
your ministration to the demands for education of probably five
thousand pupils will be conducted in adequate buildings, which,
though simple, as in the nature of things they should be, will, in
situation, in appropriateness and charm of construction, be not
unworthy either of the purpose to which they are to be devoted
or of the liberality and forethought of the great City, under
whose auspices the destiny of the College must be accomplished.
24. Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
It is only within recent years that the College, formerly
directed by the Board of Education, has been confided to the care
of a separate Board of Trustees.
This separation it was feared might to some extent diminish
the unity of relation between the grammar, the high school and
the college, causing its recognition as the summit of the common
school system to be less general, and resulting in a tendency to
divert from it to other colleges the orderly progression from the
lower schools, and, while for a brief period justification for this
fear existed, it has become the rule that the grammar school
graduate, as well as the advanced high school pupil, seeks his
collegiate education preferentially at the institution in which the
well-rounded perfection of the whole system is sought to be at-
But yesterday there clamored at the gates of the public
schools five hundred thousand children for admission thereto, to
all of whom the privilege must be accorded. They represent the
exceptional cosmopolitan character of our municipality. The
knout of the Czar, the scimeter of the Turk, the inability to obtain
support in the land of their nativity, have driven to these shores
not only the welcome eager immigrant, but the involuntary ex-
patriate and refugee, whose children, to be assimilated and thor-
oughly Americanized, must be adequately educated.
From this number will be gleaned the exceptional few whose
mental equipment, whose hunger for higher education and a
proper regard for whose prosperity and for the development of
educated leadership of those with whom they are more especially
identified by race and consanguinity, shall serve to qualify for
admission to the college, there to receive a free untrammeled,
non-sectarian education. Here, undifferentiated from their asso-
ciates, whose American ancestry may be traced back for genera-
tions, that blending of varied characteristics will take place that
has so adequately served to build up and strengthen the nation.
Not so much can the physical delights of collegiate life be
indulged in by these ; theirs are to be years of comparative hard-
ship and self-sacrifice, cheerfully endured in order to achieve
the boon which they seek, not as an elevating accomplishment, but
Address by Hon. Edward Lauter back 25
as a stern necessity. That, for such as these at least, the term
of collegiate educational probation should be minimized, as far as
it may be without injury to the perfection and completeness of
proper training, must be manifest.
When it is remembered that the period of elementary educa-
tion exacted is now eight years, and that of the High School
course four years (the sub-Freshman courses of the College being
less by only one year, in order to satisfy the requirements of the
Regents of the University, and those of professional schools),
it will be seen that the age of graduation from the College is
brought up to the twenty-third or twenty-fourth year.
To supplement this with proper technical education requires,
in the case of the aspirant for a medical degree, four years of
additional service, for admission to the bar three years, for quali-
fication as a pedagogue or engineer two years ; postponing the
period for the actual initiation of a chosen professional career,
not infrequently, to the twenty-seventh or twenty-eighth year, a
condition that calls for the most radical remedy.
This is one of the problems, Dr. Finley, which the Board of
Trustees must submit to you for solution. Whether your advice
shall be that the methods which prevailed in the earlier history of
the institution and which secured graduation at the nineteenth
year with, it was believed, an adequate and satisfactory develop-
ment, as is evidenced by the achievements of our senior Alumni,
or whether some other course is to be followed, calls for earnest
consideration. Whether, as in the past, admission to the sub-
freshman classes shall be only permitted after rigid examination,
or whether the present probationary period shall be continued,
you will be called upon to assist in determining.
The details of the articulation of the sub-freshman classes
of the College with those of the High Schools; the adoption of
measures that may ultimately result in the divorce of the sub-
freshman classes from the College proper, to become part of the
general High School plan; the increase or decrease of elective
subjects, and the many other vexatious and serious problems
affecting the future of the thousands whose success in life it will
become your duty, as it is ours, to aid, will call for the exercise of
26 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D %
your best energies, and will invite, as it will secure, the thorough
co-operation of the Board of Trustees, at whose instance you have
undertaken the elucidation of these and similar questions, and
I am sure of the College Faculty. With a sense of security in-
spired by your sympathy with the aims of the institution, we sub-
mit the shaping of its policies to your direction. And now, in the
name of the Trustees, and by their authority, it has become my
duty, Dr. Finley, to confide to you the Seal of the College in
token of the trust reposed in you, and in full reliance that you
will maintain and promote the objects for which the institution
Mr. Finley on receiving the Seal said :
I accept this symbol of the high and responsible office to which
your Board has elected me, and into which your generous and
hopeful words have formally inducted me, conscious of my own
lack and frailty, but praying for that wisdom which can alone
endow one for such a task, and promising to be faithful, in the
full measure of my knowing and my strength, to the trust which
to-day comes to me at your hands from the people of the City of
New York. I believe in a higher education for the people. I
believe in a higher education supported by the people. I believe
in a higher education that has in its purpose the good of all the
ADDRESS BY PROFESSOR ADOLPH WERNER
On Behalf of the Faculty
The Faculty of the College, the Academic Senate and the
whole teaching body, offer you respectful greeting. We should,
of course, as in duty and honor bound, have received with offi-
cial and honest welcome whomsoever our Trustees had given us.
Having learned the reasons that determined their selection, we
Address by Professor Adolph Werner 2J
are grateful to them for their choice and we are grateful to you
for accepting the call, and we welcome you with the joy that
is born of faith and great hope. And we welcome you with warm
hearts. Fortunately, this ceremonial meeting is not our first.
We have experienced your manner and had glimpses of your
essence, and as the Sage of Concord said, the victories of char-
acter are instant.
Mr. President, we are happy to have you for our leader ; yes,
to have you among us. We feel that you will be not only the
head of the College, but truly a member of your academic fam-
ily ; exalted to command, yet ready, as the great commander was,
to arouse fainting spirit and revive flagging endurance by march-
ing at the head of the column or helping to turn the wheel of
There have lived few men and few communities but have
had stretches of bad road; yet we have no apprehension.
From the start the City, as the President of the Board of Trus-
tees has said, but as — the matter being vital — may be repeated,
from the start the City has fostered our College with unremitting
care. We have no cause and no right to imagine that she will not
continue to foster it. And from the start the people of this City
have furnished the material of which students are made.
The College is proud of the brilliant scholarship and splendid
ability of many of its Alumni — men of light and leading — on
Boards of Trustees and Faculties of colleges and universities,
medical and theological schools at home and abroad, in the pul-
pit, at the bar and on the bench, in the management of schools
and school-systems, in the scientific and technical departments of
civic and national government, in fact in all professions and voca-
tions. Most of these men — some of whom the cynicism of
Jaques might call old and even the urbanity of Cicero senescent
— are men of middle life. They were trained under President
Webster and in the first half of President Webb's administration.
Looking to lower heights — as a rule even young New York, how-
ever long its thoughts, "has not wings and cannot soar, has only
feet to scale and climb, by slow degrees, by more and more the
cloudy summits of the time" — we find that in the later years as
28 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D .
in the earlier our graduates have uniformly done well in pro-
fessional schools and at universities, in civil service examinations
and in civil service. And while in some few cases our diploma
has been, as we are told an Oxford diploma occasionally will be,
a potent of ideal wealth only, yet with vanishing exceptions our
training has not unfitted men for the battle of life, not barred
them from comfortable existence.
As to the present, we have no outside testimony. While inter-
collegiate comparisons of undergraduate muscle are frequent,
there is but little intercollegiate comparison of undergraduate
brain ; last year there was only one competition open to the gradu-
ating classes of all the colleges of the State of New York. Still,
our own observation forbids us to doubt that the men sent out
in recent classes and the men to be sent out into the world of
thought and action by you, Mr. President, will be successful
and useful men, livers and leaders of the Intellectual Life.
We would not be complacent; least of all in this presence,
before these distinguished representatives of great institutions,
whose excellence has long been beyond discussion and whose
fame has passed national boundaries. We would only by public
assertion under such control confirm the belief to which, Mr.
President, you must have come before you decided to relinquish
a position and an environment whose delights you knew, to live
laborious days for us ; we would confirm the belief that even as
young men are educated to their own benefit and the benefit of
society at Princeton and at Knox, so young men have been edu-
cated and may be educated to their own benefit and the benefit of
society by this College which you have come to direct.
Mr. President, we shall look for your direction, ready to
follow whither you shall decide to lead. We are convinced that
you will be conservatively progressive, that realizing the motto
on the seal that has been placed in your keeping, you will look
back, look around, look forward. We are happy before this audi-
ence, before the Governor of the State which gave us our charter
and the Mayor of the City, which is about to give us our palaces,
before the Regents of the University of which we are a part,
before these Presidents and Faculties, before our Alumni and our
Address by J . Hampden Dougherty \ Esq. 29
Students to make public profession of our fealty. Many of the
ancient forms of homage and allegiance have fallen into "innoc-
uous desuetude," but loyalty lives in men and, let us trust, not
with least potency in scholars and teachers.
President Finley, we are yours ; and we trust that, while you
will never cease to belong to the College in the West and the
University in the neighbor State, you will be ours — ours more
and more as the years are added to the years. We hope that
"each with the other pleased, we may pursue our journey under
ADDRESS BY J. HAMPDEN DOUGHERTY, ESQ.
On Behalf of the Alumni.
To the cordial and affectionate welcome of the Faculty of
the College, I wish to add, Mr. President, the no less heartfelt
welcome of the Alumni. Their greeting, I trust, will dispel all
doubt of their enthusiastic confidence and support. We, the
Alumni, who represent that University sentiment which is both
the flower of liberal education and the guarantee of its perma-
nence, enjoy to-day a new sense of brotherhood. You have come
to the people of this city, whose glory and whose pride are in
their free school system, to assume the presidency of their Col-
lege — our College. You and we are henceforth of one great
household. New ties and affinities bind us in a common devotion
to the cause of higher education. This College, although recent-
ly, and wisely, placed under the government of a Board of Trus-
tees, distinct from the Board of Education, remains and must
ever continue, the cap-stone of the free school system, the goal
before the eyes of the youths of our schools, the place where
they may round out and perfect that liberal culture now so uni-
versally recognized as a fitting and necessary equipment for the
broad work of life in a republic of unlimited opportunities. The
College has outlived the hostility which once attacked free higher
education, and is now upon a stable and enduring basis, and is
steadily growing and expanding. Happily, a few years ago,
jo Installation of John Huston Finley', LL. D.
under the leadership of an energetic and far-seeing alumnus,
then President of our Association, with the aid of President
Webb and the Faculty, a site was obtained from the city upon
which will shortly be reared our new home, where the city may
offer in generous and abundant measure to its youth, those ad-
vantages of liberal culture which, without its aid, might in many
instances have to be foregone.
To-day we felicitate ourselves upon the advent of this new
era and upon the installation, in the early prime of his powers,
of a President, whose selection would have been unanimously
ratified by us Alumni, could our suffrages have been invoked.
The prevision of the founders of this institution was as clear
as their faith was steadfast, that the benefits of free higher educa-
tion would not be offered in vain to the youth of this metropolis.
It was their province, as pioneers, to blaze the intellectual path-
way. Upon two thoughts their minds were focalized ; the creation
of a curriculum which, while no reproach to ancient learning,
should include the culture demanded by modern life, and the ele-
vation, through the College, of the standards of the common
schools. If, as I believe, the Alumni of the College have added to
the intellectual and moral affluence of this community, let the
tribute be given and the praise ascribed to its founders and to
our instructors, and let hope and inspiration be gained from the
thought of the vastly greater possibilities of the future.
Mr. Webster, once addressing the Supreme Court of the
United States, said of Dartmouth College : "It is a little college,
but there are those who love it." We, the graduates of the Col-
lege of the City of New York, many of whom would have been
denied access to the temple of wisdom or delayed in reaching if,
but for the munificence of our native city, conscious of our in-
debtedness and alive to the appeal to higher citizenship which it
engenders, reaffirm our love for the College, our veneration for
its past administrators, our confidence in its present Trustees, and
our abiding conviction of its utility to the people of the city. And,
as we picture the long roll of our successors — the public school
boys of coming days whose eyes shall be riveted upon the build-
ings soon to crown St. Nicholas Heights, whose souls shall draw
Address by J. Hampden Dougherty, Esq. ji
inspiration within those walls — we acclaim your coming, Mr.
President, as the opening of a new epoch, pregnant with splendid
successes, enlarged opportunities and permanent triumphs for
free secondary education in this metropolis.
This great city is the entrepot of the nation. Its continued
increase in population may be confidently predicted. Within the
term of your administration, our population may grow to ten,
or even fifteen millions. What possibilities lie in the future of
this institution under sagacious leadership ! You are entering
upon an office the administration of which not only touches the
boys in our primary, grammar and high schools to-day, but may
mould the character and affect the destiny of numbers yet unborn.
Have not men like Arnold, Dwight, Nott, Gilman, Barnard,
Woolsey, wielded an influence beyond comparison with that of
leaders of states? We, the Alumni, can but be profoundly sen-
sible of the loftiness of the duty to which you have been sum-
moned, the breadth and sublimity of its opportunity.
This institution enjoys a unique intellectual place. Against
one peril — politics — its Alumni and the growing sentiment which
draws a sharp line of cleavage in city affairs between business
and governmental functions, may be largely trusted to protect it.
Its ideal is single — undergraduate education. In the pursuit of
this end, it fulfils the mission written in the law of its creation.
Its work lies in that zone of broad culture which separates the
schools below from the university beyond. While it would be
presumptuous in me to dogmatize upon the subject of a curric-
ulum, I may affirm, and the thought cannot be too often empha-
sized, that the college ideal is not utilitarian, and that if college
studies be estimated merely according to our perception of their
utility or from the standpoint of opportunism, the mental horizon
will be limited, culture dwarfed and practical achievement re-
tarded. The history of intellectual development is a history of
surprises. In the language of Princeton's President, which it
may not be inappropriate to quote to you who come from Prince-
ton and have made us a debtor to Princeton, "the college should
give its students elasticity of faculty and breadth of vision."
32 Installation of John Huston Fin ley, LL. D.
The college takes the student in the most receptive and form-
ative period and opens to him the portals of the whole field of
knowledge. It disciplines the faculties, invigorates the will,
inculcates love of truth and sobriety of judgment. Moral cour-
age, that rarest of virtues, should surely gain strength and reso-
lution in communion with the world's heroic souls. The student
who owes his education to his city should learn that there is a
debt to be repaid in lofty patriotism, in exalted ideals of citizen-
ship, in unswerving devotion to the public good.
At such a moment, may we not say with Browning's Paracel-
sus: "Make no more giants, God,
But elevate the race at once ! We ask
To put forth just our strength, our human strength
All starting fairly, all equipped alike,
Gifted alike, all eagle-eyed, true-hearted —
See if we cannot beat Thine angels yet!"
Mr. President, the Alumni of this College tender you their
heartiest, most affectionate and most loyal support. They Rave
rallied to its defense in the past and you may confidently rely
upon their aid and co-operation in the future. If, as we believe,
under your leadership, the best in our traditions shall be pre-
served, evils up-rcoted, scholarship sustained, men of elevated
character and robust and supple intelligence developed, the city
of your adoption will be your debtor, and the Alumni of the fu-
ture, a great and influential body of sane, thinking, courageous
men, will bless your administration and diffuse its benefits in in-
numerable channels. May that administration long continue and
triumphant success crown your efforts !
ADDRESS BY MR. KENNETH GROESBECK
On Behalf of the Students
Mr. President, Gentlemen of the Board of Trustees, Guests of
the College, Ladies and Gentlemen:
While in the formalities attending the inauguration of Doctor
Finley as President of The College of the City of New York, the
Address by Mr. Kenneth Groesbeck. jj
Board of Trustees, the Alumni and all friends of the College
unite in fervent and joyful anticipation, it must not be thought
that the body of undergraduates, whom I have the honor to rep-
resent, are in any degree less fervent, joyous and hopeful.
Dr. Finley enters his new position at a time 'when the College
itself is entering upon a new era in its history. For years past
the very old building, with its annexes, has been utterly inade-
quate to meet the demands of the thousands of students clamoring
for admission. The energetic work of the Board of Trustees
has brought us to our present prosperity, secured for us the ac-
commodations we so long have lacked, and finally has given us a
President, who will maintain and extend our name in years to
come. Where before, the students were cramped for room, even
for routine work, now we may anticipate the opportunities offered
by five great buildings on spacious grounds; where before, no
inducement was offered to the students to remain after regular
hours, now we have before us laboratories for more extended
research, a library in which reading will be a delight, and a gym-
nasium with all the equipment for the preservation of a sound
body which is the foundation of a sound mind. The last neces-
sity of the College, after General Webb had determined to lay
down his onerous duties, was a man for its head, forceful, enter-
prising, wise; a man who could speak, as Dr. Finley has spoken,
of forcing the College to the front, and who could act according to
his words. He has been found, and this morning he has been
inaugurated as our President.
In Dr. Finley the students recognize the man for the time, the
man for the place. The importance of the selection of our Presi-
dent was well known to us all, and the record of his past career
gave us full assurance for the future. We felt that, great as was
the responsibility, our new President had full strength to under-
take it. We have heard much of him. We have read much of
his success, of the upward steps which finally brought him to the
honored position he now occupies. We rejoice that such a man
has come to us at such a time.
In the name of the student body then, and in the name of
each individual member thereof, let me express to Dr. Finley our
34 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
heartiest good-will and our pleasure at his inauguration; and
with perfect confidence in him as a man and as a leader, let me
welcome him as President of The College of the City of New
LETTER FROM PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT
(Mr. Charles Putzel reading) :
Oyster Bay, N. Y., September 5, 1903.
My dear President Finley :
It is a matter of very real regret to me that I am unable to be
present with you on the occasion of your inauguration. The day
marks a new epoch in the history of The College of the City of
New York ; and it is therefore of special and great interest to all
who are interested — as every good American should be interested
— in the cause of popular education. You are now called to
preside over an educational institution which is the crown of the
public school system of the greatest State in our Union ; an insti-
tution whose existence shows how definite has been the decision
of our people that the State shall aid not only in elementary, but
also in higher education. Nothing is more distinctive of our
American republic than the peculiar fostering care which, through
their representatives, the people, have assumed over the education
of all the citizens in primary matters, and of all those who care
to go beyond primary matters, in those additional branches neces-
sary as prerequisites for the attainment of leadership in the great
professions. In all this our people have surely been very wise.
Education as given in the schools and colleges cannot of itself
fit us for good citizenship. But the lack of it would assuredly
render us unfit. You, and those associated with you, and those
who, in the innumerable other institutions of learning throughout
the country, are doing work similar in kind if not in degree to
yours, all alike make the whole body politic your debtors. Next
to the home, it is the school, the college, the university, which do
most to determine the efficiency of the individual as a citizen in
this great, self-governing republic of ours ; and therefore those
Address by Hon. Chauncey M. Depew, LL. D. 35
who, for their life work, devote themselves to training aright the
people who are to shape our citizenship of the future, put the
nation in a special sense under obligations to them.
I congratulate you, because it is given to you in high position
and in a College, well-nigh unique among our American educa-
tional institutions, to do your part in this great work ; and I speak
in no vein of empty compliment when I say that I am absolutely
certain how well and faithfully this part will be played by you.
With all good wishes, -,-. .,« , f1
& ' Faithfully yours,
_ . , T , __ ' , Theodore Roosevelt.
President John H. Fmley,
President, College of the City of New York.
ADDRESS BY THE HON. CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW, LL.D.
Of the State Board of Regents
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:
There is no more interesting ceremony in the history of a Col-
lege than the inauguration of a new President. It confirms the
growth of the past and opens a new era. The new President
has behind him the able executives who have been distinguished
each in his own way. But preserving all that is best, it is his own
individuality which must build from these foundations according
to the life and lights of his time.
It is within the recollection of the living man when the belief
was well-nigh universal that a liberal education was necessary
only for the professions of law, theology and medicine. If the
electorate of the United States had been canvassed sixty years
ago, they would have voted that for mercantile pursuits, for agri-
culture, for manufacturing or the vocations of the artisan, the
modest equipment of the common school of the period was quite
sufficient. In our own day, one of the most successful of the
business men of our own or any country, emphatically proclaims
his belief that a liberal education not only retards but cripples
the career of the business man. The theory was and with its
j6 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
advocates now is, that the youth who leaves school early to enter
trade or the counting house will be so far advanced when his
brother from the College arrives, that the collegian can never
catch up, nor will he be able to grasp in a practical way the details
necessary for success. The roll of the Alumni of The College of
the City of New York and the story of their lives is the best
answer to this pessimist. I have never met a graduate who
regretted his liberal education or the time spent in acquiring it.
I have known most of the men who during the past forty years
have been distinguished for eminent success in business, and the
constant lament of all, who had possessed no early advantages in
the schools, was the lack of that education which they hoped to
give their children.
We rightfully boast of the achievements of the nineteenth
century. It was an era of progress and development, unequaled
in the past and almost the despair of the future. Its triumphs
have been mainly upon material lines, and yet it has wrought
happily for human liberty and for civilization. The only element
fcr the uplifting of the people, which has not kept pace with prog-
ress during that time, is education. There was splendor and in-
spiration in the centennials celebrated by some of the oldest
universities of the world. Several of these venerable seats of
learning traced their origin back into the dark ages, and all of
them had many centuries of existence. More remarkable than
their years was their conservatism. The age of steam, electricity
and invention had made no impression upon their requirements,
equipment or curriculum. Their graduates, with substantially
the same preparation which made them, when they entered upon
the activities of life centuries ago, the wonder of the world, go
forth now to wonder at the world. We have done better in our
own colleges and universities. We have recognized that the
domain of liberal learning has vastly expanded. It is no longer
possessed and governed only by the lawyer, the priest and trie
doctor. In the scientific, technological, agricultural, mining and
manual training schools attached to the universities, we have rec-
ognized the needs of our time. But a liberal education is still
to be found only in institutions which are supported by their
Address by Hon. Chauncey M. Depew, LL. D. jj
endowments and tuition fees from the students. Contributions
of wealth to liberal education have been liberal and remarkable,
but they have been necessarily expended in buildings, laboratories,
machinery and grounds for new departments and new professor-
ships. The student has still much to do to pay his way.
The duty of the State to educate its people has long been
recognized but under many limitations. For the first quarter of
our country's existence, the old red school house, open for three
months in the year and teaching only reading, writing, grammar,
geography and arithmetic, was grudgingly supported and univer-
sally believed to accomplish all that the State should do for the
schooling of its children. When the common school had enlarged
its curriculum so as to develop the quicker and brighter minds
and open to them the highways of learning, the high school came
as a tentative and doubtful growth. New the graduates of the
high school are distinguished upon the bench, at the bar, in all
the professions and in every business. The students from the
high schools, with their present splendid preparation, enter the
colleges with equal rank and examination as the boys who come
from the time-honored preparatory academies.
We have witnessed, within recent years, the timely death of a
useless and numerous body of our fellow citizens. They decried
the equal education of girls with boys. They prophesied that the
common schools with the large additions to their teachings would
unfit the youth for the ordinary vocations of life and precipitate
upon the community a band of idlers who would be above indus-
tries and unfitted for the professions. They exhausted the vocab-
ulary of anguish and despair at the possible products of the
highly organized and superbly equipped high schools. Such
human brakes upon the wheels of progress undoubtedly served
some useful purpose in the social economy. But like the problem
of the mosquito, we have not yet determined what it is.
Within a few weeks a distinguished British scientist has in-
formed the people of England that, unless the government takes
a broader view of its responsibilities in education, the manufac-
turing and commercial interests of the country will steadily de-
cline. He points out that the national schools of Germany are
J 8 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
equipping young men for work both at home and abroad who are
making such improvements in the factories and promoting so
successfully in foreign countries the knowledge and sale of Ger-
man products, that they are rapidly and surely supplanting the
British in the markets of the world. He advises that a vast sum
of several hundred millions of dollars be immediately appropri-
ated to train the youth of Great Britain for the salvation of her
material and industrial interests. That broad-minded and en-
lightened statesman, Lord Rosebery, has been arousing Parlia-
ment and the people to activities on the same lines.
We have not yet reached a true conception of the relations
between the people and the State. Every man and woman con-
tributes to the welfare of the State according to his or her ability.
It is the duty of the government to furnish the facilities for the
equipment of youth according to their needs and possibilities. It
is the theory of our institutions that all men are equal before the
law, and all are to have equal opportunities. So long as the State
fails to furnish the means by which these equal opportunities can
be obtained, we are imperfectly developed upon the lines of our
foundation. With equality before the law and equal opportunity
for the race of life and for careers, our theories are that each will
then advance and acquire according to his ability. The poor
man should be at no expense in the education of his children on
the lines of their several gifts. One may step earlier from the
common school into trade or the work of the artisan. Another
may feel himself fitted for a field for which only the high school
can equip him, while the third will do his best work in life for
himself, his family, society and the state, by a liberal education
in college. As these three enter upon their activities, each of
them becomes a valuable member of the community in sustaining,
strengthening and uplifting his country.
Plato's academy existed for nine hundred years and then the
Emperor Justinian confiscated its endowment and closed its
doors. This practical statesman, who could see the necessity for
codifying the laws, could not understand that philosophy and the
humanities, which were taught in the halls of Plato's venerable
foundation, served any useful purpose. Had he been wiser and
Address by Hon. Chauncey M. Depew, LL. D. jo
broader, the calamities and tragedies of the dark ages might
possibly have been averted.
The beginning of the twentieth century presents to us new
problems. Every period has them. Their solution is always
viewed with doubt and alarm. Because the intelligence, wisdom
and virtue of the time were not equal to its requirements, the
world was plunged into the anarchy, savagery and ignorance of
the dark ages. Because of a more universal education and higher
and broader intelligence, the infinitely greater difficulties and
newer and more untried situations of the nineteenth century have
been admirably adjusted to our political, industrial and social life,
notwithstanding the terrific and unprecedented pace of progress.
Competition intensified by instantaneous knowledge by cable and
telegraph of all markets at home and abroad, and the quick trans-
portation possible with steam, is the force which is driving our
industries into gigantic combinations and our labor into counter-
acting organizations. A distinguished body of lawyers recently
proposed to meet this situation by taxing out of existence these
great combinations, thereby leaving neither employment for their
capital, nor work for labor, and in the paralysis of industries and
in the idleness of workingmen, securing perfect peace — the peace
of Warsaw. If steam and electricity with their influence, not only
upon material, but on educational and spiritual life, had been
known to Sir Thomas More, he never would have written his
"Utopia." The student of capitalization learns that the laws of
trade adjust values and they cannot be arbitrarily created or main-
tained. The most remarkable corporation ever formed in the
volume of its bonds and stocks and the one which has excited the
most discussion and probably the most fear, has within the past
three months had the value of its securities reduced in the open
market by the gigantic sum of $400,000,000. The knife of the
Legislator would never have cut so deeply in so brief a time.
The question which most concerns a nation like the United
States, existing by popular suffrage and the will of the people, is
the maintenance of peaceful relations between capital and labor,
notwithstanding the differences in material conditions and posi-
tions of individuals, which always come where there is free play
4-0 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
of capabilities for work and administration. Arbitration, which
is the happiest method yet devised, requires educated intelligence.
The more highly cultivated the understanding and the broader
the grasp of the leaders, the better will they understand each
other and the quicker come together. As human nature is con-
stituted, the world is always in need of leaders. Even heaven has
its angels and archangels. If armies were dissolved and all
became privates, almost immediately and by universal consent the
most capable would be put again in command, upon principles
of safety and self-preservation. If on the deck of a battleship,
the admiral, the captain, the lieutenants, the chief engineer and
every head of department, should surrender their functions, again
the instinct of self-preservation would put the leaders in their
old places. If the property of any community was arbitrarily
distributed equally among all its members, and free play left to
their activities, the same masterful man who had acquired it,
would own it again within a short time. There is no royal road
to wealth or competence. The shiftless, the idle, the lazy and the
vicious are our burdens. But the industrious, sober, thrifty, vir-
tuous and ambitious are the nation's hope. To give them every
opportunity to cultivate and strengthen the gifts of nature is the
highest duty of the State and yields the best dividends for law,
order and civilization. No power can stop the onward and up-
ward march of these when thoroughly equipped, a march not
alone for money, but power and influence in the party, church,
organization. "Captains of industry" and industrial captains are
built upon the same plan. It is the quality which makes a Caesar
or a Napoleon or a Washington, in the lesser degree of require-
ment and responsibility, as the world subdivides into states,
counties, towns and separate communities, or into political par-
ties, armies, navies and industries. The need of our time is edu-
This, for the City of New York, is the "people's college."
Here buildings, lecture rooms, laboratories, workshops, books,
apparatus of every kind and tuition, are all free. Here are to be
educated the political, the professional, commercial, educational
and industrial leaders of the future. According to the extent of
Address by Hon. Chauncey M. Depew, LL. D. 41
the facilities of this College, the loftiness of its purpose and the
practicability of its instruction, will be the impress which its stu-
dents make upon the life of the city, as the body of the alumni
increases in number. The value of liberal learning, to those who
are capable of receiving it, cannot be estimated. The German
government appointed seven of its ablest professors and teachers
to decide whether a purely practical education, or the broadening
of minds and disciplining of the intellect, which comes from classi-
cal learning, would best promote the purely utilitarian side of a
career. They took the eminently practical German way of pa-
tiently examining for years the students from the classical and
those from the practical schools, who enter the technical depart-
ments for specialized work. They found, without exception, that
the more liberal training and better intellectual equipment of the
classical student enabled him soon to outstrip in every department
of work the men who were trained only on that side of their
faculties. Independent of what may be acquired in the lecture
and class rooms from the professor and the library, are the ideals
of the university. Their impress is felt upon the student all
through his life. In the older colleges, the heredity of a long line
of distinguished alumni is in itself a liberal education. In this
' 'people's college" of the City of New York is another inheritance.
The ancestry of this institution is the origin and growth, the ma-
terial prosperity, the municipal government, the educational facil-
ities and the instrumentalities of religion which work for the
uplifting of mankind of its 250 years of organized life. The
student of Yale, or Harvard, or Columbia, or of Princeton
will ever do his best to promote the interests of his alma mater.
It will be the lesson as well as the duty of the student of The Col-
lege of the City of New York — of this "people's college" — en-
dowed, maintained and sustained by this great metropolis, des-
tined to be the foremost city of the world — to repay the debt, the
unextinguishable debt which he owes to the College, by giving
himself unselfishly and courageously to the good government of
this mighty municipality and to all causes which will tend to
make its citizens better, happier and more prosperous.
42 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT ARTHUR T. HADLEY
Of Yale University
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:
As the representative of a sister institution, I congratulate The
College of the City of New York on the new President whom she
to-day inaugurates. And, as a personal friend of your new Pres-
ident, associated with him in many tasks during the last years,
so that we have come to know one another well in the committee
room and around the council board, I congratulate him on the
new work to which he has now been called.
There is in the whole United States, I believe, no educational
position so distinctive as that which your predecessors have occu-
pied, Mr. President, and to which you are now called. Of insti-
tutions based on old religious foundations there are many; of
institutions based on private foundations there are many; of
state universities there are not a few, but there is only one Col-
lege of the City of New York, representing the culmination of the
educational system of a municipality larger than almost any
other State, with resources far in excess of those which any pri-
vate endowment can command. There is none with such distinc-
tive interest, none with such distinctive problems, and none, I
may add, with whose special problems and special interests, both
by training and education, you are better fitted to cope. The very
fact that these problems of The College of the City of New York
are, in a certain sense, distinctive and special ones, makes it of
unusual advantage that you have had experience and training
broad as our great country itself. You know by direct contact
institutions of every kind. You know by personal experience
every part of the country. You can bring to New York the
knowledge of the West and of the South. You can bring to this
center of practical life and of intense application ideals obtained
from older universities more secluded from the immediate strife
of life and more in contact with the history of the ages ; but you
are guarded by your very experience from any danger of under-
estimating the value of practical life, of falling into idealism, or
of failing to note what it means to teach men who have them-
selves to support and their own way to make in the world.
Address by President Nicholas Murray Butler 4.3
In the opening year of the Civil War, in the winter of 1861,
when the forces of the Union and Confederate armies faced one
another, little was done on the Potomac, little was done in Mis-
souri, little was done in the lower Ohio River. In eastern Ken-
tucky alone, where a handful of Union forces commanded only
by a colonel, were in active work, a few weeks' campaign wit-
nessed an advance of hundreds of miles over ground which was
never recovered by the Confederacy. The colonel of these Union
troops was James Abram Garfield, and when President Lincoln
heard of the result he said to a friend in Washington : "Do you
know why Colonel Garfield was able to do at once what all the
other army commanders have waited weeks and months without
doing?" "I suppose," said the gentleman to whom he was talk-
ing, and who knew the difference between politicians and profes-
sional soldiers, which prevailed at the time, "I suppose you would
say it was because he never went to West Point." "No," said
President Lincoln, "he would have been a still better soldier had
he gone to West Point, but the reason which made him do what
no man from West Point could do, and do it promptly, was be-
cause, when he went to college and when he was in college, he
knew what it meant to work for a living." Gentlemen, your new
President knows what it is to work for a living. He also knows
what it is to work for an ideal; and under his administration
The College of the City of New York will carry yet further on the
achievements of an honored line of predecessors and will stand
now more than ever for the continuation of those two funda-
mental needs of the American Citizen.
PRESIDENT NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER
Of Columbia University
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:
To bring the greetings of Columbia to the City College and
its President at this time is no small satisfaction. We believe
44 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
that the City College has played a large and worthy part in the
educational system of New York, and we believe that much
greater usefulness and new and enlarged opportunities lie before
it in the future. In President Finley we greet an old friend and
colleague in a new and more responsible post, and we extend to
him the right hand of fellowship, both as fellow citizens and as
fellow teachers, in the work that he now undertakes-.
In American municipalities, tax-supported education has usu-
ally extended over the fields of elementary and of secondary edu-
cation only, and that for obvious reasons ; but besides New York,
Baltimore, Cincinnati and Philadelphia have devoted some por-
tion of the public funds to the support of educational institutions
that reach up into the field of the American college. Somewhat
different causes have led to this development in the several cities
named, but at the bottom this City College rests upon the prin-
ciple — in my view a sound one — that where a municipality is
large enough to provide a constituency for a college from the
graduates of its tax-supported schools, then it is wise policy to
add to the municipal school system an institution of a collegiate
grade organically related to the schools, elementary and second-
Columbia University and the City College are both public in-
stitutions. Both rest upon the public will, and both aim to serve
the highest public needs. The one is indirectly aided by public
support ; the other is wholly maintained by public tax. Together
they represent the two great types of public school that are
included in the American educational system: the one built up in
co-operation with governmental agency, the other type wholly
directed and supported by the government. It has been the main
strength of our American education from the very beginning
that room has been found for public educational institutions, both
tax-supported and non-tax-supported, to grow up side by side
and to serve the public, each in its own way. The diversity of
American education has led many observers to express the opin-
ion that it is unorganized, if not chaotic ; the contrary is the case.
American education, with its freedom from narrowing govern-
mental prescriptions, its abundant room for individual initiative,
Address by President Jacob Gould Schur man 4.5
and its schools of every kind and grade springing up to meet new
educational and industrial needs, its tolerance and its catholicity,
represents only the rich complexity of American life. The course
of our civilization cannot be made to flow between narrow and
carefully measured banks, without destroying its power and limit-
ing its fertilizing influence. It is settled American policy that
our governmental agencies may do for education, higher and
lower alike, whatever those who pay the taxes are willing to sus-
tain. Whether a state or a municipality shall undertake the
foundation and support of a school of any given type, is wholly a
matter of expediency, not of debatable principle.
The existence and the increasing prosperity of the City Col-
lege serve to remind us of a fundamental characteristic of true
democracy that is too often overlooked; namely, that the State
is concerned alike with the more advanced training of the few
who, at this stage of our economic development, are alone able to
profit by it, and with the elementary training of the many who,
for one cause or another, are deprived of formal education at a
tender age. The few who can go forward, as well as the many
who cannot, are children of one and the same mother-State. That
democracy is spurious, not true, which empowers its government
to make provision for the education of the very young, the needy,
and the unfortunate only.
In the City College, New York has a truly democratic cap-
stone to its democratic educational system. That the College may
grow in strength and power and that the administration of the
new President may be crowned with prosperity and abundant
success, is our earnest wish and our confident expectation.
ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT JACOB GOULD SCHURMAN
Of Cornell University
I bring you, sir, on behalf of Cornell University, cordial
greetings and good wishes, and as I congratulate you on your
installation into this high office, I congratulate the College of
which you are to be the President. Having said so much, I know
4.6 Installation of John Huston Fin ley, LL. D.
not whether I can add anything to what you have heard. Any-
thing that can be added to the historical sketch by Mr. Lauter-
bach, of the Board of Trustees, would be superfluous, and I
suppose none of us would ever attempt to rival the mellifluous
eloquence of Senator Depew. But yet there are two or three things
which I should like to say on this occasion, in connection with
the character of the College over which you have been called to
preside. I rejoice that it is a college in which instruction is free.
Here, as in the public schools, the blessings of education are dis-
pensed without money and without price, and I regard this oppor-
tunity of securing a higher education without cost as a most
important feature, especially in a democracy, and notably in our
own country, where, at the present time, on the one hand, great
fortunes are being accumulated, and, on the other, increasing num-
bers find themselves unable to give their children from their own
means the opportunities of a higher education. Let the day
never come, when the brains of the country are syndicated. Let
the day never come, when men of brains are dependent on capital
alone. Plato, you will remember, sir, while recognizing, in his
political philosophy, the dominance of caste and class in his sys-
tem, provided that the youth in the lower grades should be pushed
onward into the higher and upward. A college like this, where
education is free, gives the youth of the lowest and poorest
classes an opportunity to enjoy that liberal culture which, in the
province of education, is all that the millionaire with his millions
is able to command.
And there is a second feature of this College on which I feel
like congratulating you. Our universities have grown in recent
years to great proportions. They aim, at any rate, to realize an
ideal which is familiar to many of us, the ideal of an institution
in which any person may find instruction in any study; but I
know that every head of a great university present, will bear me
out, when I say that the combination of professional schools,
along with the College of Arts, however desirable and advantag-
eous, brings with it difficult problems, and that one of the diffi-
culties with which any such institution will always be confronted
is that of maintaining the proper place, the place of dignity and
Address by President Jacob Gould Schur man /f.y
supremacy, for the College of Liberal Arts. Now the business of
this College is not to prepare men for the professions. Your
function is to promote liberal culture; to cultivate manhood; to
purify the taste; chasten the imagination; to. correct the judg-
ment; and to give young men and young women a love and in-
terest in letters, philosophy, history, politics and science, which,
believe me, sir, are worth infinitely more in human life than the
largest fortune your richest New York millionaire can show.
And in the third place, an institution like this which is the
cap-stone, as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees has said, of
the educational system of the city, owes to the city and to the
State, the duty of training its young men for citizenship. All col-
leges and universities owe it. You owe it in a peculiar degree,
because of the fact of your dependence upon the city. And there
is no place in the United States where that civic training is more
needed to-day, than it is in the City of New York, which is receiv-
ing annually hundreds of thousands of immigrants from different
countries of Europe, who are ignorant of our language, ignorant
of our political ideals, ignorant of our modes of government.
The public school system here, and the college which is the climax
of that system, is called upon to assimilate this tide of immigra-
tion into the texture and fiber of American citizenship.
Nor is that all. I believe that there is still greater danger
confronting the body politic than what is sometimes called the
unassimilated mass of foreign immigration. That danger, sir,
is that in times of great physical comfort, of diffused wealth, of
colossal fortunes, we may forget that the republic cannot live by
mere force, or wealth, or power. It lives through ideals which
are its soul. And the ideals of our republic are order, justice,
individual liberty and the inalienable rights of man, be the man
white or brown or black. I cannot but regret an apparent decline
in public esteem of these ideals, along with the synchronous oc-
currences throughout our land of lawlessness and lynchings.
These are not accidental phenomena. The two are connected.
At any rate I know that if we are to have order, if there is not to
be lawlessness and anarchy, it must be because we believe in these
political ideals and realize them and make the republic, what the
4-8 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
fathers intended it should be, a republic where the people should
Other points there are on which I should like to dilate, but the
limits of time forbid. I close, Mr. President, with tendering you
once more the cordial congratulations on behalf of Cornell Uni-
versity and wishing you, as I predict for you, a prosperous ad-
ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT IRA REMSEN
Of Johns Hopkins University
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:
When I was asked to make a ten-minute speech on this im-
portant occasion, I was reminded of another invitation received
some years ago from an organization of students in whose wel-
fare I was much interested. They wanted me to give them a
short address. I hesitated and was about to decline, when the
representative who came to give the invitation reassured me by
saying, "We don't expect much, Professor." I am sure you don't
expect much. I am, however, glad to have this opportunity to
bring from the Johns Hopkins University friendly greetings and
hearty congratulations to The College of the City of New York,
and to your new President, whom we claim as one of our sons.
He comes to you from Princeton, but I want to remind you all
that, after he was graduated from Knox College, he spent two
years at the Johns Hopkins University as a graduate student, so
that he is well known to us, and I may add that his record while
with us will bear the closest scrutiny. He has nothing to fear
from us. On the contrary, we remember him as a strong, earnest,
able young man, and have had abundant evidence since he left us
that he has even greater strength, earnestness and ability than he
then gave promise of.
My position to-day is peculiar. I am not quite sure whether
I was asked to come here because I happen to be the President
of the Johns Hopkins University, or because, once upon a time,
I was a student in this College. In either case the College is the
Address by President Ira Reinsert. 4.9
logical text that must determine the general character of my few
remarks. There is just one thought that I should like to empha-
size. The name College is an extremely elastic one, as everybody
knows. It is applied to a great variety of educational institutions,
as well as to some that are not educational. There are colleges
which, in their upper classes, have assumed the functions of the
university, and there are those which, in their lower classes, have
assumed the functions of the preparatory school — some of which,
taken as a whole, do not compare favorably with good prepara-
tory schools. Some of those that have extended into the univer-
sity stratum are beginning to feel uncomfortable and are trying
experiments on the shortening of their courses ; for it has, I think,
come to be generally acknowledged that the age of graduation
from the colleges of the highest grade is too high. This is now
an old story and I do not intend to discuss it here. I repeat,
however, that during the past few years it has come to be gener-
ally recognized that something has got to be done, and different
colleges are doing different things, in order to make it possible
for their graduates to get at their professional work or their life
in the world, a little earlier than they have been able to for some
years past. Since the universities have come into being in this
country, and graduate work has been taken up more and more,
and the schools of medicine and of law have adopted university
standards, the fact has forced itself upon the attention of those
engaged in higher educational work, that the upper classes of the
most advanced colleges have been standing in the way of efficient
scholarly work in the professions, and have held back, a little too
long, those young men who were looking forward to business
careers. A loud cry for relief has gone up, and the cry has been
heard. It is evident that the college of the future is not going
to be quite as ambitious as the college of the last quarter of a
century. In my opinion, this will be a distinct gain for scholar-
ship. It is, however, not at all probable that all the colleges of the
future will conform to one standard. It would be unfortunate if
this were to come about. We need different kinds of colleges. A
college that suits the needs of Massachusetts would probably be
ill suited to the needs of Georgia or Texas or Colorado or Kansas,
jo Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
and yet these States need colleges and want the best they can get.
Even in one and the same community, such as we find in our
larger cities, different kinds of colleges are needed, and it would
be folly to demand that they should all do the same kind of work.
Among the different kinds of colleges that have been devel-
oped in accordance with a demand, is The College of the City of
New York, which stands almost in a class by itself. The only
other college of the same general type that is known to me is the
Baltimore City College, and this differs in a number of respects
from its New York sister. The College whose guests we are
to-day offers, to the youth of this great city, an opportunity that
most of them would not otherwise have, of going on beyond the
grade of the public school, up into the college. It gives them a
good college education, and dismisses them at a reasonable age
to take up the work of the next grade, whatever that may be.
The work it undertakes to do, is college work — not university
work. It has always been disciplinary and preparatory. So far
as I have been able to determine, it has done its work well. Many
of the leaders in the professions and in business in New York
received their preparation here, and those with whom I have
talked are quite ready to acknowledge their indebtedness to their
We rejoice that this College is to enter upon a new era full
of brightness and hope. We would not forget its past and those
who have brought it to its present state. My own experiences
are of so ancient a date as to disqualify me from speaking author-
itatively of the recent past and the present. I can only speak as
an old Free Academy boy of the sixties, under the presidency of
Webster. Some of those who then taught here are still teaching
here, and among them are men whom I have, from that early
time, always held in the highest esteem, and they have honored me
with their friendship. I come here gladly to testify to my interest
in the work of the College, to congratulate the Faculty and Alumni
upon the great good fortune that has come to them in the acquisi-
tion of their beautiful new home. Long-continued efforts of most
devoted alumni have been necessary to bring about a realization
of the hopes of the most of those interested in the College. To
Address by Grover Cleveland, LL. D. Ji
them our hearty thanks are due. And now, as your new home is
about to be prepared for occupancy, let me express the earnest
hope that your work there may be even more useful to the City
of New York than that which has been done in your present
President Finley, on behalf of the Johns Hopkins University,
I wish you every success.
ADDRESS BY GROVER CLEVELAND, LL.D..
Ex-President of the United States
Mr. Chairman, and Ladies and Gentlemen:
I do not assume that the few words I shall speak will add
anything of value to what has been, or will be, said by others more
at home in these surroundings. I hope, therefore, I shall be toler-
ated when I confess that my participation in these exercises is
primarily attributable to my warm affection for the friend who is
to-day inaugurated President of The College of the City of New
York, combined with my unabated interest in everything which
is related to the ennoblement and prestige of the great munici-
pality which was once my home.
My intimacy with the new President leads me to congratu-
late him on the fresh honor that has come to him, and to bid him
Godspeed in a broadened field of usefulness; and I do this with
delightful confidence in the adequacy of his scholarship, with
absolute faith in the correctness of his conscience, and with thor-
ough knowledge of his unremitting devotion to duty. I know
the City of New York — her generosity, her appreciation of ele-
vating influences, her sensitiveness to every demand of advan-
cing civilization — and I congratulate her on to-day's auspicious
It would be strange, however, if such sentiments left no place
in my mind for other reflections which these impressive exer-
I cannot rid myself at this moment of the thought that educa-
tion is a selfish, useless thing, if it is to be hid in a napkin, or if it
£2 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
is to be hugged to the breast by its possessor as a mere individual
prize; and it seems to me that the existence of schools and col-
leges in this land of ours can scarcely be deemed important
except as they are the sources from which education may be dis-
tributed through many channels, for the enrichment of the body
politic, and the stimulation of patriotic thoughtfulness among our
We contemplate to-day the great service of usefulness which
embellishes the history of The College of the City of New York ;
and we see for its future vastly increased facilities and opportuni-
ties ; but our most inspiring thought should be that the advanced
education it imparts is freely bestowed upon the rich and poor
alike, without price or cost. How splendidly the American doc-
trine of equal rights and opportunities, even in the field of educa-
tion, is thus illustrated; and how grandly does this College teach
the vital lesson of the democracy of American education.
When in 1755 the clergyman of the town of Worcester, in
Massachusetts, was deputed to provide a teacher for its grammar
school, he selected from the graduating class of Harvard College
for that year, a young man who favorably impressed him, named
John Adams. One who has written an account of the school-
teaching episode in the life of the second President of the United
States, after speaking of "the good scholarship, bold thought,
strong language and evident sincerity" of this young man, adds :
"His standing in social life was learned from the fact that he
was number fourteen in a class of twenty-four; for pupils were
then placed in the order of the supposed rank and dignity of their
parents — the alphabetical order of their names and places not
being in use until nearly twenty years later."
It must be confessed that such an arrangement, by which the
location of a student's name on his college class roll indicated the
social rank of his parents, contained no suggestion of the Ameri-
can doctrine of the democracy of education. We recall, how-
ever, with considerable comfort, the fact that this scheme was in
vogue before the Declaration of Independence — and the further
fact that it was abrogated at a time when ideas of man's equality
Address by Grover Cleveland, LL. D. S3
and self-government were stirring the hearts and minds of sturdy
Those who made our nation, plainly saw the necessity of
some measure of free popular education, as a cementing constit-
uent in the foundations of a government built upon popular con-
trol. Thus they established free common schools to the utmost
extent allowed by the exigencies of our Nation's beginning; and
their declarations abundantly prove that they were not unmind-
ful of the great advantages of university education as a further
assurance of the success and stability of republican institutions.
The free public schools of those early, simple days were open
to all, were appreciated by all, and, in an atmosphere of patriot-
ism, they taught all to become good citizens. They created and
fostered the democracy of American education in its broadest
and best meaning, because their lessons and influence enforced
the truth that the highest purpose of education was the prepara-
tion of free men to do the work of free and independent citizens,
and that in preparation as well as work, there should be patriotic
equality and brotherhood.
If times have changed; if we have outgrown the simplicity
of our early national life; if with the growth of abnormal en-
terprises and a mad struggle for wealth, a constant and acute
solicitude for the country's weal has been somewhat subordi-
nated; and if, in our social and business life, we can see signs of
a cleavage that may divide our people into distinct and unsym-
pathetic classes, we should be watchful. If, with these things,
we also discover a movement toward a more general collegiate
education, we ought to regard it as another unfavorable symp-
tom, if increased learning is to be made only a mere ornamental
accompaniment to the unwholesome and pitiable ostentation of
riches and pride.
It should be the prayer of every patriotic citizen that Amer-
ican education may never be so degraded; that it may always
remain true to its mission — a steadying force against all un-
toward conditions ; that higher education, as it becomes more
accessible and widespread, may re-enforce the firmness of our
national foundations, as they are made to bear the increased
5^ Installation of John Huston Fin ley, LL. D.
weight of our country's healthful development, and that, in the
democracy of education, our people may ever be gathered to-
gether under the sanction of enlightened and strong Amerfcan
In this lofty service, The College of the City of New York,
as a pioneer in free collegiate education, should always be found
at the front. If it fully responds to the princely munificence of
its establishment and maintenance, it will contribute more and
more to the City, and to the State, and to the Nation, learned
and useful men, who shall demonstrate by their careers that the
free collegiate education they have gained is as good as the best ;
and it will only completely fulfil its mission when its graduates
so influence our public life and so strengthen our public con-
science as to prove, beyond question, the relationship between the
patriotism of higher education and the public safety.
It is altogether appropriate that the advantages of a free col-
legiate education, offered to the youth of every grade and con-
dition in life, should be first exhibited in. the metropolis of our
nation. By reason of the cosmopolitan character of its popula-
tion, the project has here the widest possible scope; and as all
look to the City of New York for leadership in the largest en-
terprises, as well as for the greatest generosity in every noble
work, its free college, seen from every direction, should serve
as an example and inspiration to every city in the land. It is
well, too, that such an institution, founded to educate the poor
on entire equality with the rich, should be supported by the
wealth accumulated in the center of our country's trade and
business — thus affording a constant denial of the accusations
of those who seek to teach the thoughtless that the sport of
wealth is the oppression of the poor.
I hope it will not be deemed ungracious if I suggest, in con-
clusion, that with all the City's generous appropriation of money
for its free College, the duty the citizens of New York owe to
it will not be fully met until they give absolute proof that, in the
highest meaning, where their treasure is, there will their heart
be also. That this free College is a New York institution, will
not be demonstrated by liberal city appropriations for its sup-
Address by President John Huston Finley 55
port, nor by the voluntary service of public-spirited citizens in
its management. In addition to these things, there should be
stimulated in every quarter a greater desire to secure its advan-
tages, to the end that the youth of New York, from every social
plane and in every condition of life, shall crowd the largest struc-
ture that may be built for its use ; and there within its halls, The
College of the City of New York with all else it may impart,
should constantly teach the Democracy of American Education.
TELEGRAM FROM KNOX COLLEGE
READ BY MR. CHARLES PUTZEL
"Knox College Faculty and Students, in mass-meeting as-
sembled, at 9:30 a.m., in front of old college building, send
heartiest congratulations. Thomas McClelland."
INAUGURAL ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT
JOHN HUSTON FINLEY
Trustees of the College, Teachers of the College, Guests of the
College, Students of the College and Friends All of the Col-
I am sure you will appreciate my feelings and will sympathize
with me as I attempt to speak at the end of this programme.
Much that I would say has already been said, and all of it might
be omitted to your comfort; but I will ask your patience while I
endeavor to read what I have here written to say this day.
It is with both an oppressive and an inspiring sense of respon-
sibility that I speak as President of the institution to which I have
to-day publicly pledged my service. I have not only to meet the
obligations of the hopes and wishes which have been expressed
here this morning (and I dare not attempt to speak my apprecia-
tion of what has been said by Trustees, Professors, Alumni, Stu-
dents, University Presidents and Friends, or of what has been
silently said by the presence of my former teachers, who are
present, some of them, and of my associates at Princeton Uni-
j6 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
versity) ; but I am also laid under a responsibility to the hundreds
of thousands who have, in the past, consciously or unconsciously,
given this College life and nurture, to the millions at work, in
office, shop or home, in the street or the environing waters, who
to-day, willingly or unwillingly, dower it with the new gifts of
their sacrifice, and to the millions more who are to carry its life
and service on into the years beyond the terms of our labors.
It is an oppressive thought that one can never hope adequately
to represent such a constituency; but it is supremely inspiriting
to have such a constituency back of one. I may seem, in this
view, to magnify my office; yet it is with no vainglorious desire
to trespass upon the office of those who are fellows with me in
this work or to detract aught from their responsibility, but to
let you know how dearly I hold this relationship to the past,
present and future of this, the College, of this, the greatest city
of the New World.
Though my coming into this office is made the occasion of
your assembling, it is not to this, I am well aware, that your
presence and your interest are to be attributed. This public
function is rather the formal installation of our new hopes and
endeavors for this College which, with the widening of the bor-
ders of the city and the broadening and deepening of the prepara-
tory foundations that have been laid for the College to build
upon, give it promise of an even larger potency and usefulness
than it has had in the half century of its honorable career
hitherto. The coming or going of one man is but a minor in-
cident in the existence of this corporation; for it is not subject
to the threats and mutations of mortality; active age should but
add strength to its strength ; it is vulnerable only in its faithless-
ness to its ideals ; mortal in the indifference of the greater body of
which it is a living member. It must both feed and be fed, else it
must lapse into one of those rudimentary organs which mark not
the progress, but the degradation of the beings to which they be-
long. And the nourishment upon which this vital exercise of
faculty depends is not alone of the wage and salary of your giving,
but of your zealous, intelligent sympathy — the thought which can
really add to stature. It is for this we are met, to receive a new
Address by President John Huston Finley 57
and larger appropriation out of the treasuries of your interest
and good-will, and to pledge anew our fealty to the good of the
I cannot here publish or defend the particular purposes or
policies which I cherish for this College ; in what they desire arid
intend, they must have counsel of what has been and is. We
can have hope of mounting safely toward our ideal only as we
lay our structure upon the firm ground of the actual — and I be-
lieve it is an adage of psychic architecture, as well as of the
physical, that the higher we would build or go, the more certain
must we be of the base upon which we build. I must ask you,
therefore, as Cordelia begged of Lear, that you will let my doing
prove my purpose, and permit me to leave to-day the "history
unspoke" that I intend to do.
My theme is given me of those two generic substantives
which, in a specific and unique union, give title to the institution
to whose fortunes we are committed; the "College" and the
"City," two of the most potent substantives that stand under the
life of our republic; the College, gathering out of all the past
into the philosophy, history, art and science of its teaching; the
City, gathering out of all the present into its mighty consuming
and directive centers ; the College and the City together, though
not alone, vivifying and joining the dead past and the mortal
present in a giant, articulate, prescient power that shall, because
it holds its gates, control democracy, whose destinies depend not
so much upon the fertility of its fields as upon the virility of its
cities; not so much upon the strength of its hands as upon the
clearness of its brain and the soundness of its heart.
The college of a democracy is the expression of its highest
and best aspirations. It is its daily collect, its confession of
weakness, its prayer for guidance, its utterance of higher pur-
pose and desire, its determined "would do," giving direction and
mark to its "doing" — the crying of the young ruler for wisdom
instead of for riches. I do not demean other institutions when
I assign this conspicuous and high service to these corporations
from whose walls science speaks her inexorable laws, philosophy
her beneficent solaces and sermons and history her memories
58 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
and prophecies. These all speak the same laws, sermons and
prophecies from seats of royal foundation, but with what dif-
ferent voice when their every word is, not only commanded of
truth, but prayed for of desire !
When a democracy gives charter to the incorporation of a
college, it is but giving its own best impulses leave to seek and
speak and teach the truth without hindrance, a precious public
franchise for which the faculty in whom these impulses are
vested must make return with usury. It were the damning of
democracy if it were, as a certain monarch of England, to seek
in the college of its founding or nourishing the approval of its
unrighteous impulses; and it were the moral attainting of the
college if it were in fear or selfish dishonesty to serve, with the
letter of technicality, the demos of the day, instead of the un-
changing and eternal God and spirit of all truth. But if de-
mocracy asks only the truth and the College speaks only what
it knows, or with best reason believes, to be the truth, there
are then associated in a pure relationship the highest aspirations
and the noblest service which a people can know. Plato's ideal
republic had not a loftier motive than our fathers and our
brothers of this real republic have builded with eager, sacrificing
hands into these institutions of the teaching of larger knowing
and of higher being and living. Nor had Aristotle a nobler con-
ception of the duty of the city-state than has framed itself in
the curriculum of democracy's love and concern — not for its
own impersonal good, but for that of its individual citizen-
children. For in this has democracy risen to a greater height
than the ancients knew, that the man lives not for the state, but
the state for the higher being of its citizens. And that is the good
of the state. "To educate the wise man the state exists," says
Emerson, "and with the appearance of the wise man the state
expires." The immortality of her soul is not of the conferring
of the voter, it is not purchased of labor or capital, nor is it
deduced of economic law; it is born of the wise man.
We ever remind ourselves, with pride, that one of the first
acts of our first free immigrant fathers was to make a liberal
grant of funds for the establishment of a college. The bequest
Address by President John Huston Finley Jp
of John Harvard, which soon followed that grant, not only gave
that institution a god-father, but also showed to the succeeding
generations an example of philanthropy which has in a large
measure relieved the treasuries of State of one of their dearest
charges. In her tolerant poverty and piety, democracy has let
the individual build of his wealth upon the splendid foundation
of her own elementary training, such edifices as his love of his
fellowmen, his pride and his idiosyncrasies have suggested and
devised. Like houses upon the walls of defense, which the
public schools have established about our civilization, they stand,
the watchman's windows and the defender's towers, furnished
of free gift and garrisoned of volunteers. It has been a vicarious
service which is by no means to be computed in the value of
the endowment and equipment of these academies and colleges.
Yet, great (great beyond measure), and true, in the main, to
the interest of the public and the whole public, as their service has
been and is, it yet leaves great gaps in the walls ungarrisoned.
Washington, when quartered in the buildings of Harvard
College in 1775, declared his hope and confidence that a Uni-
versity of the whole people would some day come into being.
To-day, private philanthropy has begun the realization of that
hope and confidence, in a great research institution, whose recent
establishment promised us the peculiar honor of the presence in
our midst of its president, as our youngest academic guest, who
was to have been the Omega of your procession, but, absent or
present, is the Alpha of American university education, Dr.
Daniel C. Gilman, to whom, you will let me add, I am in good
measure indebted for the opportunity which makes this occasion.
Washington and Jefferson, the Adamses and Madison, Monroe
and Pinckney, dreamt of something more tangible than this in-
stitution without walls — the mere shadow, as Emerson defines
an institution, of a man. But Washington's hopes, housed for
the day in the then "ruinous buildings" of Harvard College, has
in its wandering found incarnation chiefly in the South and
throughout the West, in universities supported by Common-
wealths, some of which have as great a population as had all the
colonies of 1775. In these institutions, there were at the begin-
6o Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
ning of this year 42,500 students at work under 4,000 instruc-
tors — two score or more social democracies in the larger de-
mocracy, where men (and women too) have learned to know
with what a boundless heritage they have come into this world,
and with what an obligation they keep their residence in it. Dis-
tinctions of class and race and sect are there erased, not in a
communistic allotment of knowledge, but in the establishment
of new distinctions which are determined, not of pedantic or
mere material acquirements, but of the real substantial values of
intellect and character, put to honest service. It is the creditable
claim of some of our best private institutions that they keep a
democratic spirit in spite of the wealth which endows them or
comes to them for tuition; but where both millionaire and lab-
orer give, and of right receive, that spirit which is fundamental
to all our hopes for our country and our civilization, is in less
danger of quenching or stifling. The peril to which these uni-
versities (the concrete realization of the hopes of our fore-
fathers), are subject, is not of the making of Dives, but of the
But though private hands have given, as Solomon gave to
Hiram of Tyre for the building of the temple, of their grapes
and their wheat and their oil (gifts which, as the president of a
private college, I have sought too ardently and anxiously myself,
to discourage or disparage now) ; though the institutions of their
building have, for the most part, forgotten partisanship and sec-
tarianism in their efforts to minister "liberally and constantly
to the higher life of the people and all the people" so far as their
gifts can reach ; and though the state universities, built for the
most part out in the fields and away from the noisy world, have
assembled their tens of thousands from farms and villages, and
towns and smaller cities, there have developed, in the last two or
three decades, conditions with whose demands even this gen-
erous provision cannot keep pace. The gregariousness of Aris-
totle's "political animal" has so huddled, once scattered, and now
increasing, millions into cities, that as many people are to-day
gathered within the limits and immediate environs of one or
more of our cities as dwelt in all these colonies when Washing-
Address by President John Huston Finley 61
ton looked out from the barracks which the Harvard College
building afforded his meagre army in 1775 — and millions more
than many of the States which have to-day made the generous
provision of his hope.
No "divination of statistics" could have foretold these mighty
aggregations of humanity which dominate our life. Civilization
had, indeed, made its dwelling in cities, before it came to these
shores. But here, it must have been thought, she would per-
petually find her home in the fields where "embattled farmers"
gave her the freedom of a continent. Yet, in but little more than
a century, she has abandoned her farms to tenants, made her
salon in the cities, and gathered her broods in tenements. The
poet and the preacher and the philosopher have protested. The
great bulls and griffins that heard the cry of the ancient prophet
against Nineveh have echoed his prophecy from their stalls in
the British Museum. "The lion and the lizard" keep the site of
many a city, displanted by time. And we read even the doom
of the living city in the famous vision of Macaulay, who
imagines a traveler from a far shore seeking to decipher the
name of England's proudest chief on some mouldering London
pedestal, hearing savage legends chanted to misshapen idols be-
neath the dome of St. Paul's, and beholding naked fishermen
mending their nets in the river of ten thousand masts.
But though cities have come and gone, have been prophesied
against and wept over, the city persists ; the gregariousness of
man is not abated ; the city abides, and even in this roomy con-
tinent continues to grow, not as fast as a decade ago, yet rapidly
enough to make us wonder whether all our life is to be gathered
within its umbra.
Though I have come from the wilderness behind the moun-
tains, I am not disposed to take a pessimistic view of this urban-
izing process. It is inevitable, and, while we may not hold that
the inevitable is always the best, it is a good earthly philosophy
to make the best of what inevitably is, and apply our efforts to
the conjugation of the future tense.
These great nuclei of human beings are as essential to the
development of a higher man, as association has been in making
62 Installation of John Huston Fin ley, LL. D
the animal man. Think of the independent so-called amoeba
that performs all the functions of life in its one little hut of
being. It is only by association with millions of other cells that
the higher being with brain and heart and sight and speech has
been made possible. Association, as some French philosopher
has put it, is creation. It is by association that the amoebic
savage has become a civilized man, and it is through the further
association of men and the consequent division of labor that the
higher species is, and is to be developed. The "cultivated man"
(whom Dr. Eliot, in a recent article, describes), the acme of
our finite training, is developed, not in solitude, but in society, "in
the stream of the world . . . the quick flowing tides of
the busy world." We must all admit the values of solitude, but
only of a solitude which has society in its thought. St. Simeon
Stylites, building himself away from man, even toward the sky,
has no such place in the world's history as the snub-nosed Greek
who exposed his own and his neighbor's ignorance in the streets
This association has disturbed the old political, social, moral
and intellectual equilibrium, but we may doubt whether it is to
be restored by an urban migration to the country. Indeed, while
there may be a return to the fields, for a season of the year, at
any rate, it is difficult, unless one goes to the wilderness, to escape
the wire meshes of the city's nets. As for the college, no one
doubts that its ideal environment is that which the country af-
fords, but there is a vast urban multitude that cannot go to state
or private rural university or college, even if its tuition be gra-
tuitous. If the college is to reach that multitude, it must come
to it, not merely through the student who can afford to go fifty,
a hundred, or a thousand miles, for his education, and bring it
back, nor through the men of country birth who are graduated
from bucolic and pastoral to urban life; but it must come in its
own person within reach of the multitude and make the city
home its dormitory. The urbanized country boy receives a great
deal more credit than he deserves; the country-born of the gen-
eration now in control of things were far more numerous than
the city-born, and their advantages have in many respects been
Address by President John Huston Fmley 6j
greater. But that stream of vitality is being attenuated. New
York City is, quantitatively at least, in a very large measure, de-
pendent now upon her own urban or suburban progeny. Less
than twenty per cent, of her native white population of native
parentage comes from without the State, and most of those from
near her borders, her penumbra. But there is another statistic
which is even more suggestive of tile dependence of the future
upon the city's provision. Only one-fifth of our population are
native whites of native parentage. One-seventh of one-fifth
come from the country; about two-thirds, at any rate a large
percentage, have come from over the seas within the last two
generations, a mighty horde who are to have a determining part
in the making of our municipal and national future — many of
whom do not so much as know if there be a Harvard or a Yale
or a Princeton or a Cornell. I have caused to be examined the
catalogues of these institutions, and I find but 710 New York
and 223 Brooklyn men in their recent registers, out of a total
of 8,251 students. And these are mostly from families whose
names betray long residence on this side of the water.
It cannot be necessary that I should dwell longer upon the
high necessity under which this city is laid, or speak further of
the supreme moral obligation into which it has come ; for private
and sectarian philanthropy has acknowledged it in its magnifi-
cent gifts, and the city has herself confessed her obligation, not
only in the splendid secondary schools of her recent develop-
ment, but also pre-eminently in the charter of this, our College's,
being; and has expressed her purpose in the deed of its daily
provision. What I have said has been but to show in what need
and in what hopes our foundations have been laid, and of what
high purpose the service of this College has been born.
It is more important now that you, the people of New York,
should know with what spirit we, whom you have employed of
your sacrifices, undertake and carry on this task — we who are
but an organ of your own body, fed of the same blood, mem-
bers one of another with you in this complex incorporation of
the past and present, in which, with all the temptations and
wearinesses and aches which assail it, we grow toward the better.
6/f. Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D.
Speaking at Yale's bi-centennial celebration, Mr. Justice
Brewer said: "It is an honor for an institution to say, 'I have
educated this chemist or that philosopher, this historian or that
astronomer/ but it is of far higher honor for an institution to
say, 'I have trained my graduates to be good citizens.' " This
is an honor which this College (little as she may be known
among the colleges of the country) enjoys; for, though she is
proud that such a chemist as President Remsen once received
her tuition, and that the historian, John B. MacMaster, was once
among her students, it is her chief pride that she has contributed
to the life of this great city, citizens, in the highest and broadest
sense of that word. So many, and so conspicuous have been
these citizens, that to name any of them here would be invidious.
For the future, The College of the City of New York can justify
her title and her continued life by a creed and a daily practice
no less catholic and serious than this — the training of her grad-
uates to good citizenship.
But by what curriculum is this indefinable yet unmistakable
state of good citizenship reached, and by what steps are youth
graduated into it? The depth of philosophy says despairingly,
"It is not in me;" and the sea of science, "It is not with me";
history professes to have heard the fame thereof; but no science
or art or philosophy has yet taught how it may be certainly gen-
erated or compounded; and these also have all often participated
in the making of the worst citizenship. Is the curriculum to
that ideal citizenship not the path to which that ancient, patient
sufferer referred — "the path which no fowl knoweth, and which
the vulture's eye hath not seen," "a path hid from the eyes of
all the living"? There is certainly much dispute concerning
this way. Some educators have held that only shibboleth of
Greek or Latin should admit to the company of those who jour-
ney in it; others contend that it is the languages of the world's
present converse that are the more certain to lead to the fields
of its^seeking. There is increasing and rightful insistence upon
the traveler's knowing the science of the natural world through
which he passes, and of his habituating his humanism to sym-
pathy with science's efforts to let men know how nearer gods
Address by President John Huston Finley 65
in power they may become. The disagreements of the doctors
as to content are certainly bewildering; in intent they are less
divergent. President Eliot's "cultivated man," and Justice
Brewer's "good citizen" are defined with much the same adjec-
tives. But in extent, there is a growing diversity again. Only
within the last four months have I heard four representatives
of four of our greatest universities discuss, with much digress-
ing controversy of "predestination" and "election," the length of
the college course, and no two of them agreed as to its mileage.
But we shall all agree that that curriculum is best which gives
those who walk in it the companionship and guidance of the
best men and the best scholars. Its extent should be determined,
so far as the economies of the journey will allow, by the capaci-
ties of the individual students ; its content by the adaptation of its
disciplines to the changing intent, that is, the ideal "good cit-
izen" and "cultivated man." Articulating its courses with those
of the secondary public schools of your generous provision, it
must correlate the life of those who enter it, not only with the
life and thought of the race, but with the purposeful work of
the world to-day. And certainly no Baedeker of pedagogy can
do this. It is only the informed, inspired personal guide, who
has himself had sight of the kingdom of light, who can point the
youth the way to its confines. The "what" of our ideals is con-
stantly changing, and with it the "how" of our efforts to reach
those ideals ; but this is with every generation more clearly mani-
fest, that the way is not of intellectual reckoning alone ; no mere
keenness of sensual vision, though aided by lens or magnet, can
establish it; certainly no vulture's selfish or corrupt eye can see
it; it is of the discerning of the clean soul of a man — a curri-
culum that makes the great past convergent in the youth of the
present, and that makes a greater future divergent from him.
The discipline is but the conforming of the lens on the one side
that it may receive more and more out of the past and give more
and more into the future, and this is a work which is not to be
entrusted to machinery, but to the patient hand of a master.
But this must here be said of our curriculum, that it must not
only lead young men through the years that lie at the threshold
66 Installation of John Huston Finley, LL. D,
of active life; it must fetch them to it, fit of body and intellect,
and, what is more important, of spirit, to enter that life. There
is to be no loitering or dawdling or pampering here. A trouba-
dour, a sportsman, a dillettante, or even a philosopher, may be
developed in a leisurely, easesome journey, in which one may
wander as one pleases; but it is a perilous course in which to
harden fibre, stiffen a will, and fix a character that cannot be
shaken. We have here in this College a unique office and a
unique opportunity among American colleges. Our standards
of scholarship must be as high as the best endowed and equipped
teachers can make them; but with a hard-working world about
us, with no or little opportunity for indulgence in the activities
which gave such color and charm to the campus life of most
of our American colleges, we ought to demand, and to be able
to secure, of young men (entering with the same training) a
higher average of technical, if not cultural, fitness (or as great
in less time). We ought, with the generous provision which
the City of New York is making, to give them as good instruc-
tion, as thorough and as inspiring, as is to be had in any Amer-
ican college, for it must be a college in every best sense of the
word; but we ought also to exact of those who come to us, as
severe a labor in their service to learning as their brothers (who
are forbidden these privileges) give to livelihood, as their parents
give in their pinching self-denials, or as the great public gives,
who lends of to-day for the bettering of to-morrow.
A curriculum, informed of such a purpose, leads not to a city
inaccessible and unknown, but to a real, terrestrial city, where
men go about their human tasks too hopelessly or thoughtlessly,
where too many look out of darkened windows, and, tortured by
passion, racked by disease, or starved of sympathy, forget the
land they set out for — a city to whose lightening, brightening and
purifying, this curriculum must contribute; into whose homes
this College shall, as from some clean reservoir, let down clear
streams of water, and in whose streets it shall plant trees of fife
whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations.
Benediction by Rev. Alexander Doyle 67
BY THE REV. ALEXANDER DOYLE, C. S. P.
Oh God of every knowledge, bless the deliberations
of this gathering, that the same may make for the best
interests of the young men of our City. Thou hast said,
"Except the Lord keepeth the city, the watchman waketh
in vain" ; therefore enable those who are entrusted with
the sacred calling of education to lay the foundation of
learning so deep and broad that, while the mind is trained,
Thy commandments may be loved, to the end that jus-
tice, industry, and clean living may prevail in our land.
Guide our educators in their task of developing the high-
est citizenship, so that our great country may continue to
fulfill its mission of promoting a larger liberty and a
higher happiness among its people.
These manifold blessings we pray Thee to send in
abundance in the name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holv Ghost. Amen.
[After the Inaugural ceremonies were finished the guests
proceeded to the site of the new college buildings for the lay-
ing of the corner stone.]
THE LAYING OF THE CORNER STONE
NEW COLLEGE BUILDINGS
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER TWENTY-NINTH
NINETEEN HUNDRED AND THREE
MR. LAUTERBACH Presiding
LAYING OF CORNER STONE TO NEW COLLEGE
Prayer by the Rev. Charles Kemp Clearwater.
Address on behalf of the Trustees by Edward M. Shepard,
Address and laying of Corner-stone by Seth Low, LL.D.,
Mayor of the City of New York.
Address by the President of the College, John Huston Finley,
Address by Benjamin B. Odell, Jr., LL.D., Governor of the
State of New York.
Address on behalf of the Faculty by Professor Alfred G.
Address on behalf of the Alumni by Charles E. Lydecker.
Address on behalf of the City College Club by Alexander
Address by Gen. A. S. Barnes, Commander of Lafayette Post.
Benediction by the Rev. Samuel Schulman.
Prayer by Rev. Charles K. Clearwater 75
Mr. Lauterbach: In the absence of Rev. Prof. Charles P.
Fagnani, D.D., Professor in the Union Theological Seminary, who
is detained by illness, the Rev. Dr. Charles K. Clearwater, of the
Class of 1876, will make the prayer.
PRAYER BY THE REV. CHARLES K. CLEARWATER.
Let us unite in prayer.
Almighty God, our Father in heaven, in whom we live
and move and have our being, we invoke Thy presence and
blessing upon us on this happy and auspicious occasion.
After years of waiting and planning, we see to-day the
consummation of our hopes and endeavors, and are met
together, under these bright skies and these favorable sur-
roundings, to lay the cornerstone of this noble institution
of learning, around which the memory of so many of us
is affectionately entwined. Knowing that our help is in
the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth, we lift
our hearts to Thee in humble thanksgiving and prayer.
Direct us in this our undertaking with Thy gracious favor
and further with Thy continued help all the work begun,
to be continued upon this noble pile of buildings, and may
it be carried to a perfect and speedy consummation ; excite
the skill and animate the industry of the workingmen;
shield them from accident and danger ; prosper and protect
by Thy Providence all who have to do with this great
undertaking. Let there be large and liberal means for the
completion of the work so auspiciously and honorably be-
gun this day. May the plans of large extent and liberal
design both materially and educationally now developing
for this college be forwarded and prospered by Thee. We
thank Thee for all its past history of enterprise, honor and
usefulness. May the many who have graduated from its
halls in the half century and more gone, be honored, help-
ful and patriotic citizens of this great municipality, which
has given of its money and manhood for its support and
y6 Laying of the Comer Stone
perpetuation during all of these years. Bless those who
control and guide its destinies. Remember those who teach
and instruct herein; enlighten them with Thine own wis-
dom and constrain them by Thy own grace. Bless, en-
courage and guide Thy servant who this day has been
inaugurated President of this college. Make his adminis-
tration one of progress and power. Graciously remember
our old friend and leader who, for a quarter of a century,
presided over this institution. Make his old age bright
and glorious by Thy presence, even as he is held in loving
remembrance by so many of us. Hold in Thy kind care
and keeping our sons and comrades who are to-day receiv-
ing instruction in this old institution, a new chapter of
whose history we are beginning just now. We pray Thee
that Thou will bless the young in every place. Sanctify
their youth. May they grow into an honor which is unim-
peachable, a purity which is unsullied and an intelligence
which is sound, patriotic and holy. May education flourish
more and more amongst all our people. To this end bless
all schools, colleges and seminaries of learning. Gra-
ciously endow with Thy benediction our public schools of
which this college is the crown and capstone. In the years
that are to come may this institution be continued and
grow in power and usefulness as in the past. Remember
the sister institutions, colleges and universities of higher
education in this city and throughout our land. May there
go a sanctifying influence with all education and may the
conscience as well as the understanding be trained God-
ward. Impress us with that fear of God which is the be-
ginning of wisdom. Preserve us in the possession of our
civil and religious liberties, and may a free school, a free
church and a free press be continued to us in the future as
in the past — our safety and our guide. May faithful in-
dustry, domestic prosperity and national honor prevail
through all the fair borders of this fair land. We pray for
those in power and authority, for those who make and
execute our laws, for those who sit in justice and judg-
Address by Edward M . Shepard, LL. D. 77
ment in our great and beloved city, state and nation. Make
us all true citizens, law abiding, unselfish. Help us to love
justice and to preserve truth and right. Guard us from
famine, pestilence and war. Bless our homes, families,
places of business, our churches, hospitals and the numer-
ous public and private charities which cast so great a glory
on our honored city. May the whole land and all the world
be lifted by truth, intelligence and righteousness. Let Thy
kingdom come more and more. Hear us in these our peti-
tions, pardon our sins and answer us for Thy name's sake.
ADDRESS BY EDWARD M. SHEPARD, LL.D.
On Behalf of the Board of Trustees
Mr. Mayor, President Cleveland, Gentlemen of the Board of
Trustees and of the Alumni, Students, Ladies and Gentle-
The Trustees of this College of Greater New York rejoice
that the greatest day in her history has come under their auspices.
We rejoice that in the time of our service are consummated the
labors and appeals of her cherished and cherishing children. We
are honored that as hosts we may welcome you, Mr. Mayor, to
offer by your presence and your words in behalf of the city and
the citizenship of New York, a noble gift to the truly American
cause of free education. We are honored to welcome to this ser-
vice of dedication the President of the College, her faculty and
her instructors — to welcome also her alumni, to whom this cere-
mony, while it means promise, must still more mean a grateful
retrospect — to welcome her students whose sentiment toward her
is one of grateful expectancy — to welcome citizens to whom the
corner-stone now to be laid symbolizes the rich and varied history
of the past, and the glory of the future of our municipal life.
The service of this afternoon holds, we believe, a deeper and
larger significance than any other event in the life of our college
*j8 Laying of the Corner Stone
since that life began. For we celebrate to-day here the end of
the experimental life of the college, its achievement of a complete
maturity. We celebrate the complete, undisputed, undoubted
establishment of the college as an integral, principal, perpetual
part of the public administration of the chiefest city of our land.
To-day is forever ended, at least for the American Metropolis,
the long controversy whether it be the duty and privilege of gov-
ernment to give higher education to those who are competent and
who will use it to the advantage of their fellowmen, and to give
it without distinction between rich and poor or any other discrim-
ination whatsoever, except upon the ability of the young citizen to
employ well and fruitfully his learning, when he shall have got it,
and his willingness to make the self-sacrifice which higher educa-
tion and its fit use inevitably require. The foundations here
already laid, and to be laid, in primal and undisturbed rock, the
heavy walls of steel and iron which those foundations are to bear,
the spacious courts, the gothic facades which the genius of a
great architect, by whose presence we are honored to-day, bids
here arise — all these commemorate and will commemorate the solid
success of the preliminary or trial half century of our college life.
They are prophecy of the assured success and dignity of the col-
lege in the ages to come, through all the ages, indeed, which the
city itself shall know.
Fifty-seven years ago it is that the people of the former and
lesser city voted that, at the head and in the leadership of their
newly created system of free schools, should be set a high or high-
est school of essentially collegiate character and purpose. In
obedience to that direct affirmation of popular will were erected
in 1847 an ^ 1848, six miles south from the place where we are
now gathered, but then in the far northern part of the city, the
beautiful walls of the Free Academy — the Free Academy dear to
the heart and memory of many who are assembled here to-day.
The narrow limits of that first building and of the lot on which
it stood left no room for growth. The modest name of "academy"
by which the college was called, the title of "principal" assigned to
its head, some features of its curriculum, all suggested the tenta-
tive, if not the temporary, character of the undertaking. Not
Address by Edward M . Shepard, LL. D. J 9
until to-day had the city — certainly not until to-day has the
greater city of which the city of 1847 ^ s but one borough — treated
the experimental stage as ended, or the college as surely and for-
ever founded. Again and again, and almost until to-day, have the
citizens of New York, entitled to respectful hearing, denied the
wisdom of education at the public expense above the grammar
schools. Every enlargement of our college quarters has been
made timidly and only for the present. It was with apology that
in 1866 the name of "college" was assumed, in order that the true
place and office of the institution might not be misunderstood.
Not until 1900 did the college secure a governing body of its own
in the present Board of Trustees ; and even that change, vital as
it was to the autonomous life and larger use of the college, was
adopted with anxious thought and a real doubt whether the col-
lege were yet deeply enough settled in the abiding judgment and
loyalty of the city for a secure survival, otherwise than as one of
the schools subject to the Board of Education.
But to-day brings to an end all this uncertainty of our first
half century. These splendid heights of the patron saint of the
city do not rest here more surely than do and shall stand here the
walls of this particular Alma Mater herself. For five decades
she has been venerated by her children. To-day we affirm that
she is venerable to the whole world, and shall always be, and that
the truth of this is made plain by many things. The far ampler
and fitter, though not excessive income assured to her during the
last three years, the final dying out of criticism against that public
policy upon which the college stands, and which is hallowed by the
names of Washington and Jefferson, the recognition by city, state
and nation, symbolized by the rich ceremonial of the welcome this
morning accorded to President Finley in the presence of the ex-
President of the United States and the Governor and the notable
gathering of the chiefs of education in our land — and now in the
laying of this cornerstone by his Honor, the Mayor, as a service
for which even his great office is none too exalted, — all these have
one noble meaning. That meaning is nothing less than this : that
here dwelling in many and spacious halls and looking out from
this terrace, the free college shall, so long as the city endures,
So Laying of the Corner Stone
and to all within her borders, remain puissant, rich in benefaction
and far reaching in benediction.
Finis coronat opus. The stately and permanent buildings of
the college sum up many, very many, labors. A quarter century
ago the college had sturdily outgrown the building once suffi-
cient for the Free Academy. Then came the workshop and other
additions; then the overflow of students into distant and incon-
venient buildings not fitted for college uses; then the more and
more crowded rooms for recitation; then the excessive numbers
in the teaching sections ; their increasing and at last intolerable
constraints and difficulties resting upon professors and instructors
and students alike; then the ftrst faint suggestion of new build-
ings ; then the definite appeal for them ; then the unwearied and
able advocacy of a sufficient and even magnificent plan by the
faculty and alumni ; then the final and effective leadership of that
patriotic agitation, rendered by none more effectively than by
Prof. Compton, Prof. McGuckin, Everett P. Wheeler, Charles E.
Lydecker, G. Holmes Crawford, and Col. Alexander P. Ketchum,
and by others whom time does not permit me to recall ; then the
many defeats and the many more delays; then the long time re-
fusal of the city authorities and their hesitant and chilly reception
and consideration ; then the hard won assent ; then the cordial sup-
port, never better accorded than by the chief magistrate of the city
who honors us to-day; then the troubles over the site and land
titles. Throughout all these labors, these disappointments and
these sorrows, our song was "Forsitan et haec olim meminisse
juvabit." To-day, under these clear and shining skies our song,
thank God, is a Te Deum.
Upon these lofty fields before you, we affirm that, during all
the future life of this city, here shall stand the halls, the rooms, the
towers of a college, at no distant day to be the largest, and, for
American civilization, the chiefest college of the land. It shall,
we affirm, and we promise, be a worthy crown of the free school
system, a true college — nothing less, nothing more, a cordial ally
of all other colleges and schools, a college not given to technical
or special education, but a faithful supporter and feeder of univer-
sities, of other professional schools, and of all enlightened and
Address by Mayor Seth Low 81
disciplined citizenship. It shall represent the best training to
which young men of intellectual gifts may — to the benefit and
honor of the state even more than of themselves — dedicate years
of rigorous economy and self-sacrifice, after their graduation from
grammar or high schools. The college shall be free. We prom-
ise that no young man, fit for its privileges and equal to its arduous
service, shall be denied admission. As at the water gate of our
city shines the torch of a true Liberty welcoming the nations of
the world, so here our college, here and for ages anchored, shall
truly represent that public order, that self-restraint, that unswerv-
ing righteousness, which are essential parts of the American idael
of human liberty. The facades and towers which here arise will
themselves be bulwarks against tyranny over man or over his free
intelligence. And since we promise that these glorious buildings
shall be indeed a glory to the city, what so fitting as that we
should ask, as in behalf of the Trustees I do now ask, the Chief
Magistrate of the city to bring us the promise and affectionate
greeting of the American Metropolis.
His Honor, the Mayor. Seth Low. having tapped with a
trowel three times on the block of marble, said :
Mr. Architect, Mr. Chairman, Citizens of New York and
Friends of this College, I pronounce the cornerstone of the Col-
lege of the City of New York to be well and truly laid.
ADDRESS BY MAYOR SETH LOW
Mr. Chairman, Mr. President Finley, Governor Odell, Ladies
It is a singular pleasure to me to be permitted to associate my-
self with the College of the City of New York by laying the
cornerstone of its new home. It is particularly gratifying because,
as an alumnus of Columbia College and a former President of
Columbia University, I am thus enabled to show my personal
sympathy with the work of higher education which has been done
so creditably and for so many years by the City of New York
82 Laying of the Corner Stone
itself. This sympathy with and interest in the College of the
City of New York have not been born of my official relationship
to the city itself. For many years I have taken pride in the Col-
lege of the City of New York and have rejoiced in the fact that
the city was willing to maintain it. I have always believed that
everything relating to the higher intellectual life of the city is the
stronger because the city itself cares enough about such things to
tax itself to maintain this college. The roll of distinguished
alumni who have been graduated from its halls is the best evidence
of the fact that it has done its work well and that it has a right
to be. Standing here to-day, I want to pay a tribute of admiration
and respect to the gallant soldier who so long directed its desti-
nies, General Alexander S. Webb. The city itself is his debtor
for the long years of devoted service which he has given to this
college. I speak for all our citizens when I wish for him the
enjoyment, still, of many peaceful and happy years.
To-day, however, marks not only the laying of the first corner-
stone of the new and beautiful buildings for the City College, but
also the installation of its new President, Dr. John Huston Fin-
ley, who is already well known in New York. These incidents
combined make it abundantly clear that the City College is at the
opening of a new era. The change in physical surroundings is
not more marked than the educational significance of this new
departure. The introduction of high schools into the public
school system of the city has made it inevitable that the College
of the City of New York should conform itself more closely to the
normal type of American College in all parts of the country.
Such a college in these days demands much more generous equip-
ment than could possibly have been supplied by the city in the
restricted space at command on Twenty-third Street; and it also
requires the shaping and direction of a man, young and vigorous,
who is himself thoroughly familiar with the educational system
of the country in all its parts. In Dr. Finley the Trustees have
been fortunate in securing such a man, who can bring to this
good work, not only a wide acquaintance with the educational con-
ditions of the country to which I have alluded, but also a certain
familiarity with trie life of New York, which is a most important
Address by President John Huston Finley 83
qualification for any one called upon to do the work that is now
devolving upon him. I believe that the city will sustain him
heartily in every effort he may make to advance the efficiency
and reputation of this college, of which the people of New York
are already so proud. It is an interesting circumstance that, when
the City College removes to this new site, it will lie midway be-
tween Columbia University on the south and the New York
University on the north, two institutions, with both of which it
is certain to be in close and friendly relationship. The buildings
to be erected here, judging by their plans, will compare not un-
favorably with the buildings of either of these universities. The
site also lends itself admirably to the development of a series of
buildings which will be a veritable ornament to the city. I con-
fidently believe that the inner life of the college under these new
conditions, and in these beautiful surroundings, will be deepened
and enriched in a very real sense. The college ought, under such
conditions, to make enduring and manifold return to the city for
the great outlay which the city is incurring in its behalf, and I
have not the least shadow of doubt that it will.
I congratulate the Trustees of the City College, its new Presi-
dent, its faculty, its alumni and its students, upon the great pros-
pects that are opening before it. I doubt not that decade by de-
cade it will justify abundantly the hopes and anticipations of those
whose faith and courage and devotion have placed it here.
ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT JOHN HUSTON FINLEY
Mr. Governor, Mr. Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is difficult, looking out upon and across this greatest city of
our continent, not to think of its mighty present or to speculate of
its mightier future, but we owe the past some thought of it in our
joyous celebration of what has through it come to us in the pres-
ent and what is so richly promised to us through it for the future.
I would then, as was the custom among the ancient Romans, carry
with you a bit of the bread and a portion of the oil, the wine and
the milk of our thought to-day, and pour it over the dust of those
8/j. Laying of the Corner Stone
who have gone, the ancestors of our college, the forefathers of our
And what a noble grave has here been digged for them, here
where the tumults of a remote age heaved their eternal rock for
our building and the commercial and industrial tumults of our
own age have gathered the human millions at its base — a noble
sepulchre upon which a permanent altar is to rise. For we stand
on the edge of the grave to which their memories are to be trans-
ferred and reinterred. Yet it can give no color of sadness to our
celebration that we stand so near a place of sepulture; rather is
this to increase our joy, for this place is to be as the sepulchre of
the prophet Elijah into which the dead Moabite was thrust. These
memories will be as the potent bones of that ancient seer that will
quicken and restore to life those whom they but touch.
The stone which has just been laid by our Mayor is the bearer
of a prophecy and not of an epitaph; yet the prophecy must
always carry the epitaph within it and, indeed, can divine only what
the epitaph has made possible. Those who lift this stone, centu-
ries hence, perhaps, will find that prophecy written more clearly
than our eyes can now see, in the records that have to-day been
encased within it — the records of what the past has given to our
keeping and increasing. All we can know is that we are, in our
doing and living for this institution, to write the epitaph into the
prophecy, and may it be a glorious prophecy. We stand here at
the conflux of two eternities, the one behind us, the other before.
Through us who live upon the earth to-day, and through us alone,
the past can express itself and live on. And through us of this
college to-day, its alumni, teachers, students and friends, the whole
of its past, from the day that Townsend Harris proposed its estab-
lishment, must flow. Upon us depends what of its influences shall
go on through and to an endless future. Think then not only of
the obligation which the present and the future put upon us but
the compulsion of the heritage of the past.
And may this white building which is to rise over this stone
be for us a phylactery which this city is to bind upon her forehead,
a frontlet between her eyes, a phylactery with the prayers and
commandments of the past given of our prophets out of the heav-
Address by Governor Benjamin B. O dell, Jr. 85
ens, wrapt within it. So shall this altar be not only as a memorial
of what has been and of those who have led us to this day, but as
a sign that the law is in our hearts to-day.
I realize that it matters little what I say here — it matters little
to those whose mouths and ears are now stopped with dust; it
matters little to you who stand around their grave thinking each
of his own brief task ; but it will be of vital and lasting importance
what we do and are here. And shall we not, trustees, faculty,
alumni, students and friends of this college, out here under the sky
and in the visible presence of this great city, which cannot stop its
work to join us in this ceremony, but which is giving, every man
of his day's toil to help us, shall we not here pledge anew our de-
votion to the ideals of this college, keeping the testimonies of the
past in our purposes and the prayers of the present upon our
To you, Mr. Governor, as head of this Empire Common-
wealth, that brought this college into life, to you, Mr. Mayor, as
head of this city which gives that life continuance in nourishment:
from its own breasts, and to you Mr. Shepard, who here represent
that devoted, high-minded body of men who guide its ways by
their counsels, I bring, as I am sure I may, the gratitude, both of
those who are permitted to study, and those who have been called
to teach, and the promise to give back to the state or city of our
birth and nurture, all that our filial purposes can repay in unselfish
doing, in honest thinking and in brave being.
ADDRESS BY GOVERNOR BENJAMIN B. ODELL, JR.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen :
In 1732 the Colonial Legislature established a free school for
"the teaching of Latin and Greek and the practical branches of
mathematics." This was the germ of what since has become Co-
lumbia University, and was the first recognition of that higher edu-
cation received in New York. The universities at Cambridge and
New Haven had long since entered upon careers of usefulness.
The mental attainments of our young men were the subject of
ridicule, which seems to have been recognized and repudiated by
86 Laying of the Corner Stone
the Legislature in the preamble to the Act to which I have re-
ferred, which says : "Whereas the youth of this colony are found
by manifold experience to be not inferior in their natural gen-
iuses to the youth of any other country in the world, etc." Those
who condemned our apparent lack of advancement had to learn
that the slow progress in New York was occasioned, rather by the
desire to establish upon a firm foundation, than upon hasty con-
clusions that might be a hindrance to future success.
Following this new work came the University of New York,
with an income restricted to forty thousand bushels of wheat an-
nually. From this beginning has come that magnificent system
which is evidenced by the twelve thousand school-houses in every
part of our great commonwealth, a system which is educating for
the battles and pursuits of life more than a million and a quarter
of children at an annual expenditure of nearly forty millions of
dollars. We have thus made, not only certain the perpetuation of
the common school system here in New York, but by our experi-
ence and example who have led other states along the same lines
with resultant benefit to our common country.
In the earlier days of our Republic, the ordinary common
school education, except to the professional man, was thought to
be all that was necessary for the avocations of life. Therefore,
while taxation for primary education was not objected to, the so-
called higher education was thought to be a function not of the
state, but for private benefaction. Sectarian principles, happily
removed by constitutional enactments from our common school
system, ofttimes led to conditions in our earlier days which the
wisdom of the people of the present day has, not only eliminated,
but has made rather a means to an end than an obstacle in the
pathway of progress. The state's approval of sectarian principles
in a country, where everyone is entitled to liberty of conscience,
would be not only distasteful but clearly wrong; they furnish,
however, incentives whereby there is supplied by private dona-
tions that which is denied by public benefaction.
The state has never led the individual in our great charitable
and educational work. It has followed the results attained by our
benevolent and educational associations, and our present high
Address by Governor Benjamin B . Ode 11, Jr. 8j
standard is the result of an insistence by them for public morals,
and efficient administration. Our people have, therefore, come to
look upon our great universities and upon our semi-public hospi-
tals as examples which, not only give opportunities for benefac-
tions, but as models for the administration of similar institutions by
the state. This collective work has produced results which are the
wonder and admiration of the world. These mutual efforts have
served, perhaps, to clearly mark the line between the work of the
individual and the state. That both have responded equally is
shown by the value of public and private institutions for higher
education, there being in our commonwealth alone $80,000,000
of public and $83,000,000 of private property devoted to this
branch of intellectual development. Here in New York City is
to be found one of the few exceptions to the rule, that collegiate
education was mainly a private concern. The growth of the
College of the City of New York since 1847, when it was author-
ized by a large majority of the voters of the old New York, has
been phenomenal. It was an experiment and a departure that was
only possible in a community so vast and so wealthy. It is, there-
fore, in no sense to be regarded as a menace to the ambition of the
individual. To the latter there still remains the work for the
education of those from the less wealthy sections of our state.
To you is also given, as a community, a large part of the duty of
the preparation of these young men and women for the advan-
tages which have been supplied by endowment. Equality of tax-
ation is always desirable, but above all there is the necessity for
trained intellects, and to accomplish this education, increased bur-
dens, whether it be by private or public benefaction, are justified.
It is easily seen that here in this great cosmopolitan city the
departure you have made from the established usage and custom
has had its reward in the results produced. Among your alumni
are to be found men prominent and successful in every walk of
life. Jurists, statesmen and men of affairs, not only reflect honor
upon this institution, but by their conservative judgment of public
affairs are a force that will always work for the public good. A
good citizen in even the remotest community is an asset of value
to this great municipality. For this reason taxation which pro-
88 Laying of the Comer Stone
duces this result should not be measured alone upon assessed
valuation but upon ability to contribute as well. This deduction
is more in line with the high principles of true citizenship than
carping criticism of those who measure the advance of the state
by the intellectual growth of its people. It has been this concep-
tion of our duty that has produced results which have made our
state the great commonwealth that it is. It is not alone that we
should prosper in material things; not alone that here should be
the seat of financial power of the world — these are results which
follow intelligence. We should aim also to inspire through edu-
cation respect for our laws, to instill higher ideas than those
which pander to the mere creature requirements of mankind.
We should aim to bring about that mutual forbearance and that
respect for individual rights which are only possible when there
is a clear understanding of that which government represents, an
understanding that can only come from a study of our social and
economic laws and the necessities of the people.
Here in New York City problems constantly arise that can be
found in no other community. Here come those who ofttimes
through disappointment fail to realize the future which had been
their dream. Their encouragement by those who, through ener-
getic and sympathetic means, have been the medium for the alle-
viation of human suffering, is requisite. The charity of our peo-
ple is always at their command — not that charity which degrades,
but that which seeks to elevate, which seeks to instill patriotism
and lend aid for advancement. While to the old we may only
offer sympathy, to the young we hold out inducements which
come through education. Through them may come decent homes
and understanding of the possibilities which await energetic man-
hood. By this means only can we hope to assimilate in our popu-
lation those who come annually to our shores. How necessary,
therefore, that all over our state there should be that co-operation
which is not environed by locality, but which shall be state — wide
and not even limited by the boundaries of our country.
It is these thoughts which should impress themselves upon
our minds as we to-day dedicate the building which is to be erect-
ed here, a monument, not alone to education, but to the wisdom and
Address by Professor Alfred G. Compton 89
patriotism of the founders of The College of the City of New
York. The Empire State, the first in all that denotes progress,
the leader in every work that seeks to benefit humanity, still has a
greater work, a still more important place in the great future ; a
future which, let us hope, is not a black chasm of despair, made so
by our neglect of opportunity, but rather a future where all may
share in those results which have their basis in the rock of
knowledge— upon the sure foundation of rights made secure by
the education of our people.
ADDRESS BY PROFESSOR ALFRED G. COMPTON
On Behalf of the Faculty
Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Citizens, Friends of The College of
the City of New York :
About fifty-four years ago, in the chapel of our college, the
faculty of the Free Academy was presented to the people of New
York City by Robert Kelly, the President of the Board of Educa-
tion, who spoke wise and eloquent words of encouragement and
advice to the ten professors, the whole teaching force of the acad-
emy at that time, to whom the fortunes of the Free Academy
were that day entrusted. Of those ten men, only one now sur-
vives. Dr. Oliver Wolcott Gibbs still lives, but in retirement,
devoting the last years of an honored life to the scientific research
in which he always found his chief delight. The faculty thus
brought into existence, changed and yet the same, still stands
before you, and I have the honor of speaking for it on this long-
hoped-for and long-deferred day of joy and thanksgiving.
It would be a pleasure to me if I could put before you, in their
habit as they lived, those ten men and the other able and zealous
men who surrounded and followed them and made the College
what it is; but for this I have neither the time nor the graphic
skill. To have enjoyed the companionship of these men as pupil
and colleague, for almost a lifetime, as I have enjoyed it, I count
as one of the chief blessings of a singularly fortunate life.
At the head of this faculty stood, for twenty-one years, the
first President, Horace Webster, whom very many of you remem-
9° Laying of the Corner Stone
ber well. Above all other traits in a strongly marked personality,
that which most distinguished him was, in the best sense of a
somewhat overworked word, loyalty to the college. His mind
never harbored a doubt as to the Tightness and greatness of its
mission ; its interests were never absent from his thoughts, and he
concerned himself, much less, I am sure, with the profit, the dig-
nity and the power of Horace Webster, than with the welfare of
the students under his charge. As was Webster, such, I felt, was
his faculty, and, though every drop of its blood have changed,
such, I feel, is the faculty for which I speak to-day.
For the college that Robert Kelly and his associates gave to
the people of New York, we, its Faculty, claim no high pre-
eminence, and, acknowledge no inferiority; we call it just a large
and most excellent college, with a mission— the mission of keeping
open for all the boys of New York the avenues to all the highest
learning, and of so stimulating and guiding the schools of the city
that it and they may work harmoniously and effectively together
to that high end.
Our College came into existence at that period when the com-
mon school system of our country had, in most of the states then
existing, been pretty definitely shaped, when our people had given
up the endeavor to teach in schools common to all, the principles
of religion, on which men cannot be made to agree, and had
united on the teaching of knowledge and morality, on which it is
hardly possible to make them seriously disagree, when they had
learned that the people will not have education as a bounty, but
demand it as a right belonging to all alike.
By the law of 1842 the common school system of the city be-
came firmly established, as that of the state had long been. Thence-
forth that system, neither irreligious nor uncharitable, was dis-
sociated from religion and charity alike. Never again will it be
spoken of, as the system of the first half of the century repeatedly
was, as designed "for the instruction of such children as are the
objects of a gratuitous education." Never again will it occur to a
governor of our state to say, at the dedication of a new school
building, "I trust that the humble objects of your bounty pre-
sented this day to your view will not detract from the solemnity
Address by Professor Alfred G '. Compton gi
of the occasion." Never again, it may be supposed, since school,
church and asylum have been so completely separated will any
serious attempt be made to reunite them.
From this common school system sprang the College of the
City of New York, to that system it belongs, and of it, it is the
natural head, from which all the parts should receive co-ordina-
tion and guidance.
The peculiar traits impressed on the college by its founders
and its first faculty it retains to a considerable extent to-day, but
it is less peculiar than it was, because in some of its departures
from precedent, it has been overtaken and even passed by some of
its associates. One change it has undergone which it does not
owe to its faculty, but which was made in obedience to a power
set above faculty and trustees alike by the law of the land. Its
course has been lengthened from five years to seven. This
change, though it does not actually close the doors of the univer-
sity or the professional school to any, does make the access to
them harder, and the experience of this faculty shows, we think,
that it was not necessary. The mere length of time spent in study
can give no indication of a student's proficiency in it, or of his
fitness for a given work. If the rate of progress of a class is
adjusted to the ability and industry of the better students, rather
than to those of the careless, dull and indolent, five years may be
as good as seven or eight at the pace of the mediocre, the lazy,
or the pleasure seeking; and while it might possibly be improper
to require this high rate for primary classes, it seems quite right
to approximate more and more to it in higher grades.
The faculty had from the beginning a marked tendency to-
ward strict discipline, strong mathematics, hard work and a rigor-
ous marking system, a tendency due no doubt in a great measure
to the influence of Webster, Ross, Franklin, and their adviser
D'avies, in short to West Point. This tendency was reinforced by
a remarkably strong corps of assistants and followers, Irving,
Duggan, Roemer, Gibbs, Beach, and others. Moreover, many of
the best graduates of the college were taken into its service, who
helped to fix and strengthen its traditions, and there has never
been any violent change in its government, to uproot or seriously
$2 Laying of the Corner Stone
disturb them. The faculty therefore stands now, with little
change, for what it stood for at first.
Up to these quiet but imposing heights, then, heights once re-
sounding with the storm of battle, but now already devoted by our
sister, Columbia, to the peaceful pursuits of art, literature and
science, comes now this young, yet old, Faculty, to rejoice with the
Trustees, the new President, the students and alumni of the col-
lege, our associates from other colleges, the public officials of city,
state and nation, our citizens, and all the friends of liberal culture
everywhere, on the formal founding of the noble temple of learn-
ing which is to stand here as a light set upon a hill to be seen of
men. To each of you we offer our warmest congratulations on
this most auspicious event, full of promise, scarcely more to us
of the college than to every one of you ; but chiefly to you. Mr.
President, our appointed leader, and already our esteemed col-
league and friend, we address ourselves expressing our hope that
you may for many, many years guide the noble institution over
which you are called to preside, through ever widening fields of
usefulness, and popularity to ever loftier heights of honor and
ADDRESS BY CHARLES E. LYDECKER, ESQ.
On Behalf of the Alumni
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen :
We might, indeed, rest content with having laid the cornerstone
of so great a building, for so noble a purpose, on so magnificent
a site ; and if no words were spoken, the simple services this after-
noon would, of themselves, be a typical exemplification of the
modern educational spirit; a great object lesson, by the people, of
what the people can, and will do, for the people.
The erection of this magnificent free college where a liberal,
expansive and strong mental equipment is to be given, without
price, to the sons of the city, proclaims the onward movement of
the enfranchisement of all mankind in the world of thought. Nat-
urally, too, it suggests how vastly changed are the plan and scope
of education to-day, compared with those of former ages.
Address by Charles E. Ly decker, Esq. pj
The exhortations of the most conspicuous land-marks in the
history of the progress of education, while wise beyond their time,
were never so effective as those which have fallen upon the ears
of the governing power in the closing years of the last century.
No such immediate results came from them as have come from
the pleas of the masses.
We pass from the ages when education was comprised in the
work of the daily life of a people, added to the learning which the
church monopolized, to that time when the great teacher Martin
Luther proclaimed, nearly 400 years ago, that "the best and rich-
est treasure of a city is that it have many pure, learned, intelli-
gent, honest, well educated citizens, for these can collect, preserve
and properly use whatever is good." The foundation of popular
instruction, imperfect as it was, was then laid. But the work
grew mainly out of theological activities, in which the Protestants
and Jesuits, with great zeal, created schools, colleges and univer-
sities, devoted to the comparatively narrow fields of thought, of
logic and of language. A reaction gradually took place by reason
of the advance in scientific knowledge and general literature, and
by the work of such men as Montaigne, Bacon, Milton, Ratich,
Comenius, Fenelon, Locke and others, a more abstract and skep-
tical thought was created, which directed the mind to the study
of mankind, and of antiquity. The assertion of reason was the
result, and this gave birth to the many wrongs and rights of lib-
erty at the end of the eighteenth century, but not until then began
the real popularizing of educational work.
From the first school house in Berne in 148 1, the schools of
Holland and those of Germany and of the ecclesiastical orders, to
the schools of Pestalozzi, Froebel and Lancaster, at the beginning
of the nineteenth century, the progress of the schools of Europe
is to be traced, but not in them is shown the progress of the
schools of the pioneers in this land of Liberty.
In New Amsterdam the school was one of the first thoughts
of the Dutch colony. Roelandsen was sent over as schoolmaster
in 1614, and education in the rudiments was an essential of the
colonial life. Harvard College was founded in 1638, and the town
schools of Massachusetts in 1647. The first public school in Con-
94- Laying of the Corner Stone
necticut was founded in 1639. Rhode Island had a public school
The school life was more universal in the freedom of the new
world than it ever was in the old, though the curriculum was in-
deed narrow in its beginning.
From the creation of the public schools of New York to the
founding of the Free Academy in 1846, by the vote of the people,
a progression of educational thought, of pride and patriotism con-
cerning youth that is most noteworthy, took place.
When fifty-seven years ago, the arguments for the founding
of this college were made, and its opponents were, after full dis-
cussion, silenced, by an overwhelming popular vote, the diligent
toil and patient work was begun, which to-day is rewarded by the
laying of the stone which types the massive walls, the cloistered
chambers of academia, the richly laden shelves of storied thought,
the full equipment for laboratory work and natural philosophy
application, and the large corps of laborers in the field, who,
strong in the faith of the dignity of their occupations, will lift
the young sons of New York to serve their home, their nation and
This great reward which the people of New York gives to the
success of the work of the Free Academy and the College of the
City of New York, creates a thrill of pleasure in the graduates
who have gone from its halls during these fifty years.
They, of all men, have felt, and feel, the gratitude of loving
sons, and they prize the opportunity to speak that gratitude to-day.
And on their behalf I now may speak of that which they have
done toward evoking from the people the edict, that the work of
their alma mater has been great, ennobling, widespread in its
beneficence, and worthy to be fostered and expanded. Harkening
with sympathetic ear to the story which, for fifteen years, their
beloved preceptors told, of crowded halls, of disadvantageous sur-
roundings, and of disappointed youth, they long ago took up the
task of aiding the people's servants to give to the college an ade-
Legislators in a republic are not all stocked with knowledge
when they receive their certificate of election. Education must
go on with them. To stir public opinion regarding the poor, the
Address by Charles E. Ly decker ^ Esq. 95
sick, the wicked, the young, in short those who cannot act for
themselves, requires disinterested laborers, volunteers.
And to the alumni of the college, the officers of the college
turned, and turned to get ready response.
To-day in the stone, upon which this buiMing shall rest, have
been placed the reports of the Committees of the Associate Alum-
ni of the College of the City of New York, which tell the story of
appeals to the press, of computations and presentations showing
the growth of the city, the center of population, the needs of the
institution, of the arguments before the public officials, of the
drafting of bills, of the introductions of these bills in the Legisla-
ture, of the journeys to Albany to present the claims of the college
to the Legislative Committees, and to the Executive Head of the
State. They tell how, when after patient labor, the bill had been
progressed through the Assembly and the Senate, the labors of
eight months were foiled in 1894 by the veto of the Governor,
and how in the following session, the stone, which appeared to
be at the foot of the hill, was rolled up again, to be securely kept
there by Governor Morton's approval of the Act by which this
ground was acquired.
Time will not suffice to name the men whose hearts beat
high in the hope to serve their college, their city, and their state,
in promoting the welfare of this institution. Some have gone to
their eternal reward, but to-day many are now here glorifying in
the fact that they did unselfishly what they could in the day and
hour when their help was needed.
Their names are in the stone which Mayor Low has this day
set, and that will be reward enough, and more than any of them
Nor do only the men who have graduated from this college
appreciate to the full the glory of their state in building this use-
ful structure, but also those who have sipped its life-giving waters,
and who could not stay to complete a course of study, and who
are numbered by thousands in this great city, joyously acknowl-
edge the good it wrought in them, and they have been made its
friends and well-wishers, and they stand as they stood when the
legislation for its growth was sought, ready to help it. The legis-
g6 Laying of the Corner Stone
lative representation from New York was full of such men, and
many were the unexpected tributes which were heard, when com-
mittees were addressed, from those who had been able to spend a
few months in its walls.
Great commonwealth of New York, standing where innumer-
able life toilers come from other shores to enter the new world,
the advocates of liberty, of manhood, of light, give profound and
grateful thanks for this great boon, this enriching, comforting
agency which shall be a blessing to thy sons in the many years to
ADDRESS BY ALEXANDER P. KETCHUM, ESQ.
On Behalf of the City College Club
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:
There are present with us to-day graduates of our college to
whom this day's events must be of peculiar interest. They were
residents of our city many years ago, and remember the time
when by popular vote the existence of the college was made pos-
Since these men graduated, fifty years have elapsed, and are
completed, as it happens, almost simultaneously with the new era
that begins for the college to-day, with all its fulness of promise.
Together with later graduates of the earlier period, those of
the first class can recall the early trials of the Institution, the
opposition in certain quarters to higher education at public ex-
pense, the complaints of taxpayers, threatened adverse legisla-
tion, and the unfriendliness, often, of the Press.
These menacing conditions no longer exist, or have lost their
force, and so, amid most auspicious circumstances, our Alumni,
young and old, welcome, with jubilant hearts, the new period,
and the laying to-day of the cornerstone of the new building.
May we not consider this morning's ceremony the laying of
the cornerstone of the intellectual future toward which the Col-
lege can now confidently look forward, and is not the more ma-
terial event, perhaps, of the afternoon, its appropriate accompani-
Address by Alexander P. Ketckum, Esq. 97
What more beautiful home could there be for intellectual ac-
tivities than the graceful, capacious edifice that is now to rise on
this magnificent site?
No longer need the more than twenty-five thousand men,
mostly residents of our City, who have enjoyed instruction and
training at the College, or her two thousand Alumni, whose love
for their Alma Mater has been intensified by faithful filial service
amid trying circumstances, be troubled by annoying apprehen-
While the Alumni would not, perhaps, on this account be dis-
posed exactly to "depart in peace" will they not now enjoy the
rest of comparative serenity?
But never, we believe, will a call for co-operation from our
new President, or the College Trustees (should occasion re-
quire), be unheeded or neglected by our Alumni. Their spirit
of fervor and loyalty, so heartily manifested in the past, may be
depended upon always.
In our rejoicings to-day we acknowledge the splendid work
of the Trustees of the College and their indefatigable Chairman,
Mr. Lauterbach, toward perfecting the City's ownership of the
new site, and in securing, through a wise architect, the beautiful
plans and designs for the new College Buildings. We thank
them for the patient care and study with which they have sought
a new President for the College, and congratulate them most
heartily upon their admirable success.
We gratefully acknowledge the co-operation of Governor
Odell and Mayor Low, and the Board of Estimate and Appor-
tionment, and trust that their appreciation of the College and
friendship for it will remain unabated.
And now, my friends, with more than half a century of life
behind it, with a State Legislature which, during the last few
years, has inaugurated grand provisions for the future home of
the College, besides adding handsomely to its annual resources,
with a constituency vastly increased through the advent of Great-
er New York, with an honorable record for the College in the
past, and future possibilities of ever increasing scope, is not the
present an appropriate time to sound the praises of the College, to
g8 Laying of the Corner Stone
awaken enthusiasm for it among all classes of our citizens, and
to be more proud of it ourselves, than ever before ?
Mr. Lauterbach: I desire to take occasion to express the
thanks of the Board of Trustees to Lafayette Post for the cour-
tesy which they have extended to us. No demand is ever made
upon it for attendance upon an occasion at which it is necessary
or appropriate to call attention to the days when our country
was in great emergency, and when patriotic men came to its
rescue, but that Lafayette Post is willing to undertake any labor,
however great, that may be demanded of it. Again the Board
of Trustees thank you most sincerely for your attendance, and
will be glad to listen to General A. C. Barnes, Commander of the
ADDRESS BY GENERAL A. C. BARNES
Ladies and Gentlemen :
At this late hour, after you have listened to such a galaxy of
distinguished officials and eloquent citizens, the Commander of
Lafayette Post can only claim your attention on account of his
brave comrades, these venerable men who come down to you from
a former generation.
Fifteen years ago, Mr. President, by the invitation and co-
operation of your illustrious predecessor, who is an honored
member of Lafayette, this Post presented to the College of the
City of New York, the first national banner ever presented by
an Army Post to an educational institution, as an emblem of lib-
erty, as an incentive to patriotism, and as a memorial of the
heroes who made and kept us a nation. The Soldiers of the Re-
public may very properly share in the new foundation of this
famous old school of liberal arts. As the representatives of Force
they bow before the shrine of Culture, which, in its natural de-
velopment, will eventually make war impossible. Greatest of
the sciences is the science of humanity. The practice of that
often quoted maxim of Alexander Pope, "The proper study of
mankind is man," will in the end bring about the absolute triumph
Address by General A. C. Barnes yg
of mind over matter. It predicates that all disputes will be set-
tled by mental processes which will establish the right unerringly.
As in the Buddhist theory of a future state, the brutal nature
engendered in man by the early struggle for survival will be re-
fined away and give place to the calm and infallible "Body of
The first impulse of our race was to live ; to live by acts of
violence if need be, regardless of the cost to others. As civiliza-
tion progressed, this unmitigated selfishness shamed itself away,
and our ancestors, impelled by compassion for the w T eaker creat-
ures, began to live and let live; and now, in this dawn of the
Twentieth Century, there are many transcendent spirits who, by
their acts of benevolence, prove that the highest precept of all is
to help live — to live, to let live, and to help live, these three, and
of these the greatest is to "help live," or Charity; and charity is
the sweetest fruit of the noble tree of Education.
Attention, Lafayette Post ! Rise ! Present arms. Carry
The veterans of Lafayette Post, Mr. Chairman, whom I now
present to you, are here as friends of the College of the City of
New York. They are not bloody-minded men. They hate war.
They always hated war. They only took part in it because it
seemed to be their sacred duty, and because the statesmen of that
earlier day did not know how to establish the right by more ra-
tional methods. Within the walls of the institution which will
arise upon this foundation, a noble, doctrine will be taught — the
doctrine of humanity, of which I have spoken, and thus the fu-
ture leaders of the Commonwealth will learn to govern on broader,
safer lines; then the soldier's occupation will be gone. No more
alarms of war ; no more armies and navies ; no more w r aste of
substance; no more distress of violence. For the College of the
City of New York will lay this time-honored injunction on its
graduates: "still in thy right hand carry gentle peace; be just and
fear not ; let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy Country's, thy
God's and Truth's."
ioo Laying of the Corner Stone
BY THE REV. SAMUEL SCHULMAN.
Oh, Lord, our God, Thou art the source of our life
and strength. Thou inspirest our holiest hopes, and help-
est us to translate them into events. We lift our hearts
unto Thee in gratitude for this day of joy to our Alma
Mater, so rich in manifold blessings. Oh, God, if Thou
dost not build the house, in vain do the builders labor. If
Thou doest not watch the city, in vain does the watchman
watch. We pray Thee give Thy blessing to this work be-
gun to-day. May no injury come to those who labor to
rear the walls. May a spirit of peaceful co-operation and
mutual good-will unite to prevent delay in the completion
of this building, to which our hearts have been yearning
for so long a time. Grant that the ideals which have
animated those who have planned and who are guiding
this enterprise be realized. Bless him, Oh, God, who has
been formally consecrated this morning to the post of
leader of our beloved College. Give him wisdom and
strength and power to attain the highest ideals of com-
plete education as embodied in the City's College, and may
he receive the approbation, the esteem and love of all.
Bless, Oh, God, the buildings, when they shall have been
completed. May they be looked upon as a joyously sought
home, to which shall come the young men, sons of all the
citizens of this great City, to receive that culture of mind
and heart which shall enable them in a true spirit of edu-
cation and democracy to acquit themselves as men and
Bless, Oh, God, this our beloved City. May it con-
tinue to grow not only in wealth, but in virtue, and may
it look upon this College of the City of New York as the
most beautiful jewel in its diadem of works of beneficence.
Bless all who are gathered here this afternoon. May they
recognize that in the spirit of search for the truth and
Benediction by Rev. Samuel Schulman 101
righteousness and of the loving social service, they are
united, despite differences of thought and creed, as brethren
in the presence of Thee, our Father in Heaven. Bless us
all, Oh, Heavenly Father, in accordance with Thy abun-
Yevorechecho Adonoi Veyishmerecho Yaer Adonoi
panav ailecho Vichunecco — Yissa Adonoi panav Ailecho
Veyasem lecho Shalom.
May the Lord bless thee and guard thee. May the
Lord let His countenance shine upon thee and be gracious
unto thee. May the Lord lift up His face unto thee and
give thee peace. Amen.
THE ELECTION AND INSTALLATION OF
JOHN HUSTON FINLEY, LL.D.
As President of the College of the City of New York
At a meeting of the Trustees of The College of the City of
New York, held on April twentieth, nineteen hundred and three,
at which all the Trustees were present, John Huston Finley,
LL.D., was unanimously elected President of The College of the
City of New York.
Prior to the election of President Finley, the Committee ap-
pointed to tender to him the presidency of the College reported
that he had signified his willingness to accept the office, should
it be the unanimous wish of the Board that he undertake the
At the same meeting, a resolution was adopted providing for
the appointment of a committee to make arrangements for the
installation of the President and the laying of the corner-stone
of the new College buildings. The Committee, as appointed by
the Chairman of the Board, consisted of Mr. Putzel, Chairman,
Mr. Lauterbach, Mr. Byrne, Mr. Taft and Mr. Miller.
At the meeting of the Board held on June fifteenth, the Com-
mittee of Arrangements reported a proposed order of arrange-
ments, acceptable to the President, and recommended that the
installation of the President and the laying of the corner-stone
of the new College buildings take place on Tuesday, September
twenty-ninth, nineteen hundred and three.
Under the direction of the Committee an engraved invitation
bearing the seal of the College was prepared, and addressed ta
the President of the United States, ex-President Grover Cleve-
land, the Governor of the State of New York, the Mayor of the
City, and to other prominent officials of the United States, State
and City; to presidents and professors of universities and col-
104. Historical Record
leges, and to representative educators throughout the United
States, to the clergy of the City, to members of the alumni, and
to representative citizens.
THE FREE ACADEMY
The College of the City of New York, originally entitled
"The Free Academy," was established under the auspices of
the Board of Education of the city, holding office in 1846-47.
The grounds for this action are indicated in the following repre-
sentation made in the annual report of the body for that year :
"It has long been a source of regret to many citizens entertaining
a lively interest in the cause of public education, that there exists
in our city no institution of a higher grade for the gratuitous
instruction of those pupils who have completed their primary
education in our Common Schools."
The members of this Board constituted the founders of the
College, and among them Mr. Townsend Harris, its President
at that period, appears as the most prominent mover. The first
official step was taken at a meeting held July 2J, 1846, when,
upon a resolution offered by Mr. Harris, a committee was ap-
pointed to consider the propriety of applying for the appropria-
tion of a portion of the Literature Fund of the State, created to
encourage the founding of academies and classical schools, toward
the support of "a High School or College" in this city for the
benefit of those scholars who desired to continue their studies
beyond the public school curriculum. On January 20, 1847, *hi s
committee, with President Harris as Chairman, reported in favor
of "a Free College or Academy," and upon its recommendation
the Board voted to memorialize the Legislature of the State for
the establishment of the proposed institution. The committee ap-
pointed to draft the memorial consisted of President Harris, Mr.
Joseph S. Bosworth and Mr. James L. Mason. In response to
Historical Record 105
this appeal, the Legislature, by Act of May 7, 1847, empowered
the Board of Education to establish the institution, purchase a
site therefor, erect a suitable building or buildings, and assume
full control and direction. Its name, under the Act, was to be the
Free Academy, and its purpose was declared to be the extension
of "the benefits of education gratuitously to persons who have
been pupils in the common schools of the said City and County
of New York." By requirement of the same Act, the question
whether such an Academy should be founded was submitted in
the first instance to the suffrage of the people of the city at the
School and Judicial election, held on the first Monday of June,
1847, when 19,404 votes were cast in the affirmative and 3,409 in
A building for the Academy, the one now occupied by the
College, was begun in November, 1847, 3n< ^ completed in the
following year. On January 15, 1849, the first entrance exami-
nation was held — the first class admitted containing one hundred
and forty-three students. On January 27th following, the formal
opening exercises were held in the building. Addresses were
made on the occasion by Robert Kelly, Esq., then President of
the Board of Education, the Hon. William F. Havemeyer, Mayor
of the city, and Horace Webster, LL. D., the Principal. Officers
and instructors were also presented as "the first faculty of the
In the year 1854 the Legislature advanced the grade and privi-
leges of the institution by authorizing the Board to confer upon
its graduates the usual collegiate degrees and diplomas in the arts
CHANGE OF NAME
The growth of the Academy during the first sixteen years
and the collegiate character of its work determined the Board of
Education to secure a change in its name, and by Act of the
Legislature of March 30, 1866, the institution was erected into a
106 Historical Record
separate and distinct organization and body corporate, to be
known as "The College of the City of New York." The Act
invested it with the powers and privileges of a college pursuant
to the Revised Statutes of the State, rendering it subject to the
same provisions governing other colleges in the State, and to
the visitation of the Regents of the University.
In the year 1882 the Legislature repealed so much of the
statutes relating to the College as had made one year's attendance
at the public schools of the city a requisite for admission, thus
opening the College to all young men of the city of proper age
and sufficient preparation.
From 1847 un til !866 the affairs of the Free Academy were
under the management of an annually appointed Executive Com-
mittee of the Board of Education. By the Act of March 30, 1866,
the Board, as such, ceased to be the governing body but its mem-
bers remained, ex officio, the Trustees of the College, subject to
the duties required of the trustees of all colleges in the State.
These Trustees also committed the general direction of the Col-
lege to an Executive Committee.
In May, 1900, by amendment of the foregoing provisions, an
Act of the Legislature made a further change in the government
of the institution by creating a new and distinct Board of Trus-
tees, composed of nine members, to be appointed by the Mayor of
the city, charged with the sole care and control of the College.
Of this Board, the President of the Board of Education is, ex
officio, an additional member. The appointive members serve
for nine years each.